Gov Buni, APC’s unsung hero


By: Saleh Yusuf

In politics, like any other sphere of human endeavour, no matter how bad the situation, there are exceptional few with a knack for providing brilliant problem-solving techniques to navigate troubled terrain – there is creation of heroes out of a seeming rupture.

Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe state, who is also the Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), has a razor-sharp leadership skill that is rare among contemporary crop of leaders in the country.

It’s not easy for a complex democracy like ours, to pilot the affairs of the likes of Yobe state, where insecurity has been lingering for over a decade due to the ceaseless attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents. Buni took the mantle of leadership armed with uncompromising passion to liberate the state. This is coupled with the daunting challenges of managing the ruling APC at a tortuous moment in the history of the party.

To provide an alternative party that would be strong to match the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2015 general elections, APC was formed in early 2013 by agglutinating the legacy parties – the defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All People Grand Alliance (APGA) and a faction of the PDP, newPDP.

However, the party got enmeshed in internal wranglings and abrupt change of leadership until the emergence of Buni, who skillfully navigated the party out of the messy state created by the past leadership. Buni, unlike his predecessors who carelessly ceded some APC controlled states to the opposition PDP, wood serving governors, states and national legislators, among numerous others, to APC.

Surprisingly, while doing all these and recording tremendous achievements in the APC, Buni was still able to transform Yobe state to an enviable status amidst the herculean task of combating the insecurity bedevilling the state.

Today, the people of Yobe state have witnessed cogent life-changing projects in the agriculture, youths and women empowerment, education, and other critical sectors of the state’s economy.

Governor Buni hit the ground running on assumption of office by declaring a state of emergency in education. Thus, he built schools, undertook the employment, training and retraining of teachers, and awarded local and international scholarships to indigenes of the state to study various courses at different universities.

To walk his talk, Governor Buni graciously injected over N2 billion into the hitherto comatose education sector and over 300 schools spread across all the nooks and crannies of the state have been fully renovated and equipped with modern facilities to create conducive learning environment.

Health is wealth is a common axiom. Governor Buni, in his bid to revamp the dilapidated health sector, established over 130 health centres out of his promised 178 centres for the state.

To bridge the gap of inadequate manpower in the health sector, Governor Buni sponsored 233 indigenes to study medicine and surgery, basic medical sciences in various universities in far away India. Amazingly, many of the beneficiaries are sons and daughters of the poor and vulnerable.

Yobe state has become a hub of infrastructure transformation with befitting road network, modern markets, model schools, airport and lots more. It will be an under-presention of facts to highlight the uncommon achievements of Governor Mai Mala Buni in this piece. However, the few listed here will go a long way in unmasking the rare personality and leadership attributes of Buni.

It’s rather surprising that some hit and run politicians who are in politics principally for primitive wealth accumulation to the detriment of the larger segment of the society are trying to get hooked on the party already rescued by the Buni-led committee.

Buni is an unsung hero who does not engage in media propaganda and needless hype despite the sterling record of performances at both Yobe state and piloting the APC’s affairs. To the chagrin of his adversaries, Governor Buni will hold a befitting and successful convention to set the APC on a path to political triumph.

Yusuf writes from Abuja.