Governor Buni’s rare empathy

What seems to be a major inhibition to the development and unity of Nigeria is the unfortunate deficiency in patriotism, obligation, and fairness among the people. In civilised climes, leaders set the stage and examples for others to follow. Thus, leading by example.

In many instances, while the feeble trust between two destined partners – leaders and the followers – is fast eroding and windswept, there are a silent few leaders that have been practically changing the narratives and building trust between the twosomes.

Mai Mala Buni, the Yobe state governor and former caretaker chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, is a model of a creation of a hero out of ruptures. He aptly fits into the description of servant leadership, unlike his contemporaries who come into power to essentially amass wealth and gratify their ego; Buni is simply in a position of leadership to serve his people.

Today, without prejudice to all his predecessors, Yobe state is witnessing purposeful leadership for the first time since its creation in 1991, having been carved out from Borno state by the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. Frankly, the state was just wearing the face of a desert even after it attained statehood. Successive government did little or nothing to transform the state, especially when the state was collecting huge funds from the federation account.

Buni, who took over the mantle of leadership at a time the world including developed economies was battling economic crisis, has been able to formulate pragmatic strategies to liberate the state. Projects that were never expected have been put in place by his administration in just less than four years.

In Yobe state, apart from the prevailing challenges posed by the menace of Boko Haram insurgency for more than a decade, the state has been hit by other natural disasters and humanitarian crisis even before the advent of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic and other economic miseries, but Governor Buni was able positively transform the state and better the lives of its citizens.

Alhough, this piece is not about Governor Buni’s remarkable and unprecedented feats in Yobe state, but it is pertinent to outline few to buttress some of his sterling qualities that stand him out among his equals, especially his predecessors.

In the education sector, Governor Buni has reeled out policies and strategies that have significantly reversed the gory state of the system. The launch of the N25 billion Yobe state education appeal fund was to reposition the sector and avail Yobe children, particularly the indigents, the opportunity to go to school. The administration has constructed and renovated over 300 schools, established six model schools and seven mega schools across the state.

Also, hundreds of Yobe state indigenes are currently studying various courses in different universities abroad. To the lift the standard of education in the state, the Buni administration has trained and retrained 10,000 teachers to improve their capacity on teaching methodology to impact knowledge and skills efficiently and effectively.

Like in the education sector, health, commerce and industry, agriculture and other critical sectors of the economy have received the desired attention from the Buni administration.

In order not to deviate from the crux of this article, I’ll tardy the article on chronicling Buni’s feats in different sectors, the recent display of empathy of the governor in providing housing accommodation to all the three widows of late Shiekh Goni Aisami, who was killed by two military men on his way back to the state from Kano.

Buni’s care, concern, and commitment towards the welfare of his people keep him moving while his political adversaries are watching helplessly. The gesture is an uncommon quality which if all our leaders have; the despondent common man will have hope and faith for a better future. In Yobe state, anybody contesting against Governor Buni in 2023, is doing so at his own peril – his humiliating defeat is certain.

Sa’idu Musa,
Kaduna, Kaduna state

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