Recuperating Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State shook off officialdom yesterday.
He drove out of Government House Jalingo to go fishing.
The hunting ground was his fish pond located near the School of Nursing at Jalingo Bye-pass in the state capital.
Suntai, wearing a grey sports suit, was accompanied by members of his family, security agents, friends, aides and newsmen.
Among them were his wife, Hauwa; their
twin children, his younger brother Babangida Suntai; Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media and Publicity, Mr. Sylvanus Giwa, and Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Hassan Mijinyawa.
His over one hour expedition, however, yielded no catch.
The governor jokingly said the fish cheated on him.
“Kifin sun chuche ni, dun sun liga su chi abichi,” he said in Hausa, meaning: “the fish cheated on me because they are already fed.”
On arrival at the pond, Suntai asked the farm manager to give him the fish feeds, which he threw into the pond for the fish to show up.
The farm manager also brought him a hook and line and an earthworm which he used as bait.
The fish refused to go for the bait, sending the small audience into laughter.
Hauwa intermittently teased her husband about his inability to make a catch.
At a point, Hauwa herself almost fell into the pond after slipping at the edge of the pond.
Now it was the turn of the governor to tease her.
He said: “If you fall into the water I will fish you out.”
The governor’s failed effort made one of the security men laugh with Suntai telling him to return home if he could not be quiet.
“Noise scares fish,” he said.
Hauwa reminded him that the species of fish in that pond were brought from Indonesia when the governor travelled with former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Suntai left the pond with a promise to return in a few days, this time to catch as many of the fish as possible.
There were jubilations on the streets of Jalingo and other towns in the state when the video clip of the governor’s fishing expedition was aired on local television.
The governor’s health appeared to have improved significantly as he entered the red Range Rover Sports HSC, which conveyed him to the fish farm unaided.
This was in contrast to last August when he was aided to disembark from the plane that conveyed him from the USA to Abuja.
That scene sparked a flurry of political machinations in the state about his continued stay in office.
The political class was sharply divided on the matter with one faction saying he was unfit to continue to rule the state while another insisted that he was able.
A compromise was later reached to allow Deputy Governor Garba Umar to continue to act as governor until Suntai was medically fit to resume work