Danababa Suntai
Life has phases. Just as it has a starting point for individual, so it has an expiry date. In that wise, thinkers differ on the solid reality of life, because the Determinist argues that the nature (which I believe is the Creator or life) has perfected his act and art on everything. So, we are determined, but the Free will advocate would disagree based on the fact that man has a faculty of understanding to make a choice in life.

I am with the Determinist on this argument, and my reason is laced on the fact that this earth planet which accommodates the living and non-living, man and animals, environment and its rich resources must have been created by someone somewhere for a purpose, and that purpose must have been determined. Even, the so-called free will, can only select from determined choices.


At the risk of sounding religious, I could not resist the urge not to discuss once upon a time man of power and authority in Taraba state, who was among the power brokers at the Presidency of this nation while the reign of the once upon the largest party in Africa, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lasted, Mr. Danbaba Suntai, who is today a forgotten man despite the fact that he lives.

Suntai had money, houses both at home and abroad; he was a heavy weight politician in Taraba state, and he was a 'Demi-god' on his throne of public vanity. He held the knife and yam of Taraba state, he fixed Ministers and Ambassadorial candidates from the state, and had even arranged for who would get what in his second term, and plausibly succeedd him when he was done with governorship job. His words were laws in the state, and if he had sneezed, the entire political jobbers and favour seekers would have caught cold.

The only Aristocrat Suntai deferred to is Gen. Theo Danjumo, one of the power brokers in Nigeria whose problem is how to spend his money, for ma king money has been taken for granted. Suntai was dictating what he wanted for the House of Assembly, and that had to be done with the speed of sound; Suntai was the lord on the street, and his wife and children are literarily worshipped by the power brokers and contractors, as well as favour seekers in the state.

Having conquered the mind of his people, certainly not through performance, but "generosity" of Robin Wood, I think, he then chose to raise his bar as a man who could conquer the sky. To Suntai, it is belittling to boast with wonders on the wheel, for the white was yet to manufacture a car that could wet his appetite for mobility of a class.

Why he kept the governance on hold, he took training on how to fly a small plan, he was certified within the time frame, and wasted no time in acquiring a light-weight plan to fly, even when the poverty was written all over the faces of his people. After all, it is an open secret that African politicians have mastered the art of pauperizing their people in order to keep them in the perpetual prison of submission, so that rationality to decide the next election would be replaced with crumbs from the table of their oppressors.

Suntai, the newest pilot in town set to conquer the sky, he cladded his immaculate white guinea brocade styled in 'babaringa' with a cap to match and shoe; adorn himself with headset and paraphernalia of pilot. He cruised the engine of the adult toy in the sky, but the fate played the gait, Suntai might have run into a technical hitch, the expensive sky-toy fell, and the state succumbed to a halt instantly.

Fortunately, Suntai must live, because life has a lesson to offer men of power who think the y wield power of life and death. Are we surprised that any power given to man is like a loaf of bread. So, if a man brags because he is privileged, what about the Cherisher of the universe who owns the entire bakery? For days, nothing was done. Taraba state was in holiday, the House of Assembly lost its potency to do the needful, because Suntai was still on the sick bed; the deputy governor had no "manhood" to act boldly, because his boss survived. There was hullabaloo and political horse-trading.

Eventually, the acting governor regained his liver, but with trepidation, he chose to do what the constitution required when it was cleared to him that Suntai had gone vegetable, but the Suntai's wife and political merchants scurried abroad to bring half dead Suntai home, with a view to supplanting the acting governor, and to run the state in the shadow. Meanwhile, Suntai, once a power house had become a pawn, because the "Queen" had been given a sliding opening, and the "king" is unsafe on the political chessboard. The power mongers and the bootlickers kept Suntai in Government House, barring the acting governor from accessing him, and the drama of absurdity lasted until the mess was cleared off by new election.

Today, Suntai has become a baby, he lives, but dead, because he is merely surviving. He had descended from the flight of fancy, though he does not know that anymore. He has lost his brain, his fortune and political empire. His majestic first lady who walked the ground of Taraba yesterday with glamorous splendor in expensive Arabian gown with heavy weight karat gold trinkets,  has now become a baby-sitter, baby-sitting a baby-adult. What a life! The chorus-singers have gone, the power brokers have gone, the favour seekers have gone, the political merchants have divorced him, no more drumming and dancing in front of his house, and only God knows the men who are  keeping the company of his wives. Of course, the men of lust could enjoy the pleasure of his wife in his presence; certainly Suntai does not know what that means again.

If my prayer can work, I pray he regains his health and groove, but I am afraid the biological laws and law of physics do not work that way. Those who believe in miracle will disagree. The lesson there in is not to mock Suntai who must have been a good man to some people, but to remind the men of power today that what they wield as power of life and death, because they are in position of authority is nothing but a vanity fair, and it has expiry date, and that it is possible for one to live and still be forgotten by the very people who once worshipped at their feet.

Butika, a journalist of intercontinental exposure.

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