Columns & Opinion


By Ijeomah Arodiogbu

Governor Mai Mala Buni has for a couple of years remained a houfsehold name in Nigerian and Yobe politics. Providence has seen him rise through the throngs to becoming the 1st National Secretary of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, APC as well as Governor of Yobe and for sometime the stabilizing force of the party when he was the Chairman of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, CECPC, which not only kept the APC as one house but set in motion the trajectory by which the party travelled unto it’s victory in the 2023 general elections.

I have known Governor Buni for a couple of years now, right from.the moment I returned back to the shores of Nigeria from the United Kingdom, Buni apart from being an intelligent person is also a lover of culture and deeply spiritual person with an unassuming simplicity. His humility is marvelling and despite his rise to the political kleigleights, he has maintained his previous relationships in a cordial manner and will sometimes ring his old friends to check up on them.

As a regular guest to his excellency, it is . surprising that Buni as Governor still retains his humble semi detached duplex in a not too posh area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja as his private residence, where I would stroll to and have dinner or watch football games. Asides that Buni’s home is open to all and sundry and the governor will never turn away any guest who has an opportunity to see him. Most times when he was done attending to these persons he would join me to discuss pressing national and international issues. Armed with a sharp wit and keen mind, Buni naturally deals with such discussions with immense intelligence and sincerity burrowing into such topics with facts , insight and where need be, figures.

Recently, I has the opportunity to visit him in Damaturu where we visited his private farm and one could see that this is a governor who understands that agriculture remains the foundation of the human existence and he believes that if Nigeria is to grow as a nation, make progress and feed it’s ever growing population, we must whole heartedly embrace agriculture, an agenda he has forthrightly carried out since his emergence as governor.
On this particular visit , he took me round his farm, which includes a fish farm, 1000 female goats , a 1000 female cows and over 1 million birds both layers and broilers, rice farms, rice mills, sesame seeds farm and processing plants. This he has replicated in Yobe too and I must say that the scope of his vision in agriculture is not only intimidating but inspiring as well with the major aim being the transformation of the state from one heavily invested in subsistence farming to commercial agriculture through the provision of mechanized farming inputs and right thinking policies.

Crosschecking his administration’s involvement in other sectors of the Yobe Economy, one will see numerous strides of the Chiroman Gubja in each and everyone of them, such strides are momentous that in the next couple of years, Yobe would truly live up to it’s theme, the “Pride of the Sahel”.

Observers would also agree that asides agriculture, healthcare, education and infrastructure have also featured heavily on Buni’s priority list.

The upgrading of the Yobe State Teaching Hospital, providing it with state of the art health technology has made Yobe the envy of many of it’s peer states, particularly in the North. Again, the Buni administration has so far completed 157 healthcare centres for each ward out of a total of 178 wards, a no small feat, while the child maternity complex, when completed will be a model to maternal and child healthcare not only in Nigeria but also West Africa.

The Buni administration has not only rehabilitated existing schools, it has as well gone on to establish six new modern and seven mega schools within the various senatorial districts in Yobe, alongside the provision of text books and laboratory equipment. Buni also understands that asides infrastructure the quality of instruction is important for a state like Yobe and his administration has emphasized the employment of quality teachers, training and retraining of these teachers.

The construction of numerous state and intra state roads, particularly the completion of the Yobe International Cargo Airport which he inherited in a parlous state has been completed. The construction of 2300 housing units remains the highest ever recorded in the Northeast region.

As a Nigerian and a party man, I am immensely readily proud to identify with this man who I regard as a friend and mentor, Governor Buni is indeed a model to the Nigerian people and it is my prayer that he lives long enough and in good health to continue to offer this nation his services.

Dr. Ijeomah Arodiogbu is the National Vice Chairman, APC SouthEast.

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