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Buni: 54 garlands for a strategist – Blueprint newspapers Limited


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Luck is great, but most of life is hard work – Iain Duncan SmithHuman life is likened to a number of things; from a stage on which all humans are actors, to a profession as every individual is here to trade. Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe state has been on the political  stage of the Nigeria for almost three decades.
Even when  besieged with occasional twists turns,  Buni remains committed and doing well. Although the nation’s political terrain is polluted with  self-centered politicians, the Yobe state governor  happens to be one of the few politicians that have printed their names on the history books as partly responsible for better politics since the return of democracy in 1999.
If there was any doubt as to his sagacity and political shrewdness, Buni put such doubts to rest in the 1990s when he traversed the terrain of then newly created Yobe state politics. With determination, he broke  the jinx  of the Social Democratic Party in the third republic to win the humble seat of councillor under the  defunct  National Republican Convention (NRC) and  subsequently elected as the speaker of Gujba local government council in 1992.
Coincidentally, HMB always found himself in the opposition, albeit  with a dazzling commitment and determination, until  2011, when Governor Ibrahim Gaidam appointed Buni special adviser on political affairs and legislative matters.
The story of this strategist, lobbyist and grassroots politician is that of triumph over human vicissitudes. His  political life is proof of hardwork with strong will and determination to  turn all obstacles to attain political greatness. He was elected chairman of the Advanced Congress of Democrats in Yobe state, when it entered in into an alliance with the Action Party of Nigeria in  2007.  Hon Mai Mala Buni, born on  November 19, 1967, in Buni Yadi, is the fourth civilian governor of the state.
His political career soaredprestige when three parties in the country, namely,  Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN),  Congress for Progressive Change (CPC),  and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP),  with a  faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and  nPDP (a faction of the then  ruling Peoples Democratic Party)  merged in February 2013.  After the formation of All Progressive Congress in  2013, Buni became APC  protem state secretary  and  subsequently elected the pioneer state chairman and later national secretary of APC. In 2019, as Allah’s destiny, he was elected governor of Yobe state.  
The 54-year-old governor of Yobe state discharged his additional responsibility to resolve the ruling APC  internal conflicts and reposition the party. HMB took the tasks with with colourful politicking by creating a ‘political miracle which has  become the opposition’s  nightmare. He is a superlative lobbyist, bringing the party’s national secretariat to life.
There is no gainsaying the fact that  some events in the APC surrounding the 2019 elections, especially after the primaries, presented disturbing realities. In particular, situations in Adamawa, Bauchi Imo, Ogun, Rivers and Zamfara states were, to say the least, unfortunate. This internal tension brought down party harmony. In addition, the party lost control of Sokoto, Benue, Adamawa, Bauchi,  Zamfara and Edo states to PDP.   
To save aoc from more implosion, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC)  dissolved. Consequently, in June 2020, Mr. President and other critical stakeholders APC emergency meeting named  Buni as  chairman caretaker/extra-ordinary convention committee.
CECPC not only brought APC back to life, but the party captured some states  from the stronghold of PDP. The states include Ebonyi (David Umahi), Cross River (Ben Ayade) and Matawalle of Zamfara. Former Ogun state governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, and chairman, Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation,  Lt. Gen. Ihejirika have joined APC. Others are two former speakers of House of Representatives – Yakubu Dogara and Dimeji Bankole, -as well as Barnabas Gemade former PDP chairman, among others. 
CECPC’s efforts are yielding positive result as HMB has proved that he understands the  dynamics of the politics leading to his committee  ‘winning’ back aggrieved members.  Governor Buni’s led committee are carrying heavy political weight on their shoulders in steering the party onto a safe pasture from the brink of implosion to the gale of defection of various parties’ members to the APC. HMB has put the party on sound foundation as demonstrated by his political pedigree in managing the party affairs and resolving internal squabbles among various party members. 
In spite his administration coming to  power when Yobe state had its own bitter taste of the Boko Haram insurgency, the nation’s slide into serious financial crisis which adversely affected the state’s financial commitments as it relied on federation account, Buni  gave  hope to his people. 
As governor, Buni is passionate for the enthronement of a masses oriented government; his desire to uplift them made him the people’s governor. He was sincere to his noble cause for which he excelled with his leadership principles that anyone who wants to be a leader must be the servant not the boss.  
Buni’s breakthrough in education, health infrastructure development, youth/women empowerment, security, agriculture, foreign scholarship to deserving students, paying retirees benefits, supporting security agencies in the state with operational vehicles are unprecedented. 
This piece is to celebrate Buni at 54 – a pragmatist, strategist, progressive, lobbyist and grassroots politician; a great achiever  in transforming the socio-economic and infrastructure landscape of Yobe state, APC and Nigeria at large.
Dukawa writes from Kano via [email protected]
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