Not many knew about his political sagacity and strong leadership acumen until he emerged on the horizon as the Governor of Yobe State in 2019.
But after a few years on the saddle as the governor of the state and as the Caretaker Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, it is clear that Governor Mai Mala Buni, is an undisputed apostle of good governance, educational development, health care delivery and economic transformation that have lifted the soul of Yobe State and altered the people and the landscape of the state.
Today, things are looking up for the people given the numerous projects, policies and programmes, which the governor spearheaded since his inception, which have brought real change to the lives of the citizens of the state being troubled by Boko Haram terrorists routinely.
Apparently armed with his background in family business in trade and transportation, Buni came into office with a mission to succeed and add value to the state and its people by embarking on life-changing projects and programmes in the various sectors of the state economy, which have already begun to yield positive dividends, earning him accolades in the process.
But his core priorities appear to be in the areas of education, health care delivery and economic empowerment for the people. Upon taking over the reins of governance, Buni immediately declared a state of emergency in the decrepit state of education he met on the ground and pumped in more money and personnel into the sector as well as build and upgraded more schools to meet the expectations of the administration.
As a demonstration of his resolve to change the face of education in the state, Governor Buni has not only mobilised a massive sum of N2.1 billion into the sector but has also actively rehabilitated no fewer than 300 schools across the state in the past two and a half years of his leadership.
Additionally, the governor has seen to the construction of six model and seven Mega School as a deliberate effort and programme to decongest schools and provide a conducive learning environment for students and teachers. The administration has also procured books, teaching aids and equipment for schools worth over N1 billion all in a bid to enhance teaching and learning in Yobe State.
In a proactive measure to cater for the health of his people, Governor Buni has embarked in a deliberate upgrading and construction of new health projects across the length and breadth of the state so as to broaden access to healthcare delivery and give succour to the natives.
Under the healthcare programme, Buni has upgraded and constructed no fewer than 130 health centres out of the 178 he promised at the inception of his administration. Specifically, the administration has upgraded four health centres to general hospitals and lifted three general hospitals to teaching hospitals, revamped the state’s teaching hospital and built a massive maternal and child hospital in Yobe State within the period. But to prepare and procure the personnel who would man these health institutions being established and upgraded, the Buni administration has sponsored 233 indigenes of the state to study medicine and surgery and basic medical sciences in various universities in India. They are expected to return to manage the state’s health services in the future, thereby solving the perennial challenge of key health personnel shortage that is currently afflicting many states in the north.
Governor Buni has also delved into the area of economic and industrial development with the revamping of the moribund flour mills, aluminium and polythene factories as well as the construction of four modern markets in the state capital, Damatruru, Potiskum, Gashua and Nguru to enhance trade and commerce. In the same vein, the administration is building a cargo airport to promote international trade, tourism and travels to and from the state.
The training of artisans-men, women and youths in various trades is also being undertaken by the Buni administration. So far, no fewer than 609 of such beneficiaries have been trained in paint production, 300 in inter-locking technology, 100 in automobile works and 300 in Point of Sales operations. But the real beauty in the empowerment scheme undertaken by the administration is the equipping of no fewer than 2000 women with ruminant to start their business.
As a governor, who presides over Yobe, one of the Northeastern state under constant harassment and attacks by Boko Haram terrorists leading to the dislocation of natives from their communities, Buni has worked assiduously with international agencies and corporate institution to rehabilitate thousands of displaced persons back to their normal lives and given them a sense of hope and confidence in the midst of the conflicts ravaging many parts of the northeast today.
Governor Mai Mala Buni worked with the African Development Bank under the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement, and Livelihood Improvement Support, APPEALS, Project and successfully distributed livelihood support packages to over 5,000 IDPs.
As a result of that collaboration, the Yobe State Government inaugurated the construction of houses for IDPs sponsored by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) Joint Venture (JV), Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCO) and Total Nigeria Plc, thereby restoring the pride and confidence of the hitherto troubled and dislocated natives.
Governor Buni is a strong political leader, who has breathed life and vibrancy into the All Progressives Congress since his appointment as National Caretaker Committee Chairman. He has not only increased the population of the ruling party but has also successfully reconciled many factions and political actors who left the party or were at the verge of leaving for other parties, thereby strengthening the bond, unity and cohesion of the party ahead of the next election.
Governor Buni is a man of the people who has provided strong political and economic direction and good governance for his people and deserves a resounding applause for what he has so far done in Yobe State.