Gov. Buni Changing The Face of Nigeria’s Politics
By Mamman Mohammed
“We shall work to reposition the All Progressives Congress to remain Nigeria’s leading party and Africa’s largest political party that will stay in office beyond two, three or even four terms of office”
— Hon. Mai Mala Buni. Yobe state Governor and Chairman APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee.
He is a man of few words and when he talks, he carefully selects his words, measured and calculated. He addresses an individual or group with humility and listens attentively to make you feel at home, giving you all the attention you deserve. His power to tolerate and accomodate, even in the face of provocation makes him uniquely different.
One year after taking over a dying APC, Governor Buni provided examplary leadership to the extraordinary caretaker committee to rescue the sinking party which has now bounced back to life as President Muhammadu Buhari said with pride when receiving the committee’s report on Friday 25th June 2021.
President Buhari said “with the work done by the committee the party has bounced back to life, I have listened with great interest the remarkable job you have done so far. We are all witnesses to the crisis that engulfed the party leading to litigations and presented a picture of selfishness and division.’’
President Buhari’s position corroboratted that of the Progressive Governors Forum who had earlier passed a vote of confidence on the Buni led Caretaker/Extraordinary convention Planning committee.
Arising from a meeting in Abuja, the APC Governors passed the vote of confidence, commending Governor Buni “for providing excellent leadership to the party at the most critical period.
Popularly referred to as “Limamin Sulhu” meaning, the Apostle of Reconciliation, because of his reconciliatory prowess. While some of his fellow politicians referred to him as a political rainbow that sucks away rain water from the skies of opposition parties, others referred to him as the white ant that sucks away the sweetness from sugar of the opposition parties. He is certainly a man with a magnetic character that attracts both the friend and foe.
One year into the stewardship of Buni’s administration as the chairman Caretaker/Extraordinary committee, the party recorded genuine reconciliation and welcomed back those who earlier left the party in anger, while others who went to court, willingly withdrew the litigations.
Already on the count, three serving governors have left the PDP and joined the APC. First, it was Ebonyi state Governor Chief Dave Umuahi then followed by his Cross River state counterpart Prof. Ben Ayade and now the Zamfara state governor, Bello Muttawale. There are also indications of more high powered defections into the party.
Submitting his report to President Buhari, Buni said “With your excellent leadership roles for the party, we are witnessing high powered defections including serving governors from PDP to our great party. It is also interesting that the fortune of the party in the last one year has greatly improved across the country and especially, in the South east which has been the stronghold of the opposition.
Buni noted that all issues and members were given a fair hearing, and an open door policy was created to accommodate all those that were aggrieved, leading to withdrawal of cases in court and peaceful settlements.
“The party is now more peaceful, orderly and accommodating than what we met on the ground.” Buni said.
The Yobe State governor said the registration and revalidation of members across the country recorded more than 40 million members, and an appeal committee was also set up to hear all matters related to the process so that no member gets disenfranchised.
“We have observed that youth and women constitute huge population of the voting group. We had a youth and women committee, and also people with disability,’’ he said.
Buni said the committee a Contact and Strategy Team had been set up in every state to come up with an acceptable template that would ensure transparency, credibility and acceptability of the internal electoral processes.
Buni also said a committee was constituted to review the party’s constitution to check loopholes that gives room for conflict and litigations. Over 500 memoranda were received and the process had been completed and ready for submission to the Convention for ratification.
At a time when APC continue to wax stronger, the opposition parties continue to suffer in focus and weak leadership, the Buni regime continue to exploit available opportunities and deplete the strength of the opposition as seen in the continuous defection of high profile politicians with thousands of their supporters, and reducing the opposition parties to paper weight who believe in making empty noise than making the party strong.
While APC has largely overcome its internal problems under the purposeful leadership of Governor Buni, the opposition parties are lacking confidence, sense of direction and ability to galvanize their members to form a formidable force.
With 22 states in its kitty and a population of over 40 Million members, it is obvious that the All Progressives Congress is more than ever, ready to consolidate its leadership in Nigeria’s political sphere.
With the ever growing strength of the party, it is a political suicide for the opposition political parties whose fortunes had continuously been reducing to run a race against the APC in the 2023 general elections.
Buni said the committee had been very cautious and meticulous in making the far reaching arrangements to achieve this great feat. He expressed the readiness of the party to conduct “credible, transparent, flawless and generally acceptable congresses and Convention for the party to produce a strong leadership that will enjoy the support, trust and confidence of all members.”
It is therefore very important for APC to promote internal democracy and elect credible officials in the forthcoming congresses and convention to consolidate the achievements recorded by the party and its success in subsequent elections.
Educational development in Yobe And Fika old students Association
Educational Development in Yobe and Fika old students association
By Abba Dukawa
YOBE state had its own bitter taste of the Boko Haram insurgency, which practically destroyed many schools in the state, immediately on the day Governor Mai Mala Buni took over the affairs of the state, he had unveiled his administration’s commitments in improving primary and secondary education in the state. During his inauguration speech on May 29, declared a state of emergency on primary and secondary education in the state. Its apt to quote him , I Hereby Declare A State Of Emergency On Primary And Secondary Education In The State, To Build A Solid, Vibrant And Robust Foundation For The Development Of Education. Government Would As A Matter Of Deliberate Policy Continue To Provide The Necessary Support To Move Education In The State To Greater Heights.”
This declaration declare a state of emergency on state education is an admission that things are not where they are supposed to be. It means that the familiar perception of the problems that confront the state and must be creatively challenged.
To be fair government cannot be completely blame for poor educational facilities; but the communities and Old Students association, in they own right, has a vital role to play in the supporting alma mater while communities also nedd to support government efforts in , delivery and improvement of education.
Politics aside there is need for Old students association need to pay back what the government offered them during the good days instead of politicize alleged lack of decent educational facilities in some schools in the state.
HMB’s administration recorded tremendous achievements greatly in health care delivery to schools, roads, agriculture in spite of the security challenges in Yobe state. Yobe State is home to about a third of Nigeria’s 13.2 million out-of-school children. In order to improve and encourage pupil’s enrolment in schools in the state HMB’s administration partner with the Federal Government for the implementation of the Home Grown Feeding Programme.
The administration has made a significant landmark in revolutionising the educational sector in the state Buni convened the state’s first education summit to proffered solutions to the sector past track his administration goal in the development of the state education sectors.
Like it or not the administration has increased school enrolment in the state, Some structures burnt down by the Boko Haram insurgents renovated, establish two model primary schools and two model junior secondary schools in each of the state three senatorial districts to expand access to education by the school age.
Hundreds of schools have so far been rehabilitate, new ones in the local government councils affected by the insurgency and other local government area of the state have been constructed in line with the state of emergency declared by the administration on education. Also new Model schools were constructed in Damaturu, Gashua, Potiskum, Geidam, Nguru and Buni Yadi all Buni’s administration effort to provide conducive atmosphere for teaching and learning.
Thousands teachers have been trained and retrained to enhance manpower requirements of the schools and thousands fresh teachers has been employed despite state with lean financial resources. administration procured and distributed over N1billion text books, laboratory equipment and chemicals. Classroom and office furniture were procured and distributed to schools across the state. State higher institutions also not left out in spite mountainous challenges facing the state, the administration has greatly support the state owned tertiary institutions to be centres of academic excellence, and also to produce adequate, trained and qualified manpower to serve the state and beyond.
In view of the great loss suffered by the education sector from insurgency, the administration is determined to move the State away from an educationally disadvantaged to an educationally prosperous one. Buni’s administration already partner and seek for special intervention from the Federal Ministry of Education, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TET Fund), International Organizations to support Yobe state government in its commitment to rebuilding education in the State.
In my view, on recent video posted on social media by Fika Government Secondary Old Boy on School facilities; is nothing but looking for cheap popularity. In deal society, communities and Old Students Association are complementing govenment’s efforts, in providing educational facilities in their immediate environment like what peoples seeing in the southern part of the country. It should be a good for Fika Old Students Associations to be bipartisan not to be critical to government efforts. It would be a great insensitivity for them to blame the state government on decay of school facilities. What support they offered to their alma Mater in they capacities as Old Boy of Fika Governor Buni’s deserve commendation for his concern on education, especially at the all levels.
To be fair without Government alone cannot provide educational facilities to all state own schools as there is need for total support of School Based Management Committees (SBMCs) and Old Students association, in every communities. Fika Old Students Associations and other alike Old Boys forgot even before HMB secession to power in May 29/2019, the insurgents has destroyed many educational facilities in the state making many pupils to abandon schools for their safety. In spite of this challange Governor Buni has displaying his political will toward the educational development across the state.
Undeniably Buni’s administration take proactive steps to rehabilitate and equip to standard at least one Science Secondary School in each senatorial zone in the State. Community and old students association has a vital role to play in the provision, educational facilities and improvement of education, peasants, government, traditional and religious leaders everyone has a stake in it.
Dukawa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
APC Congress: Why There is No Descending Voice in Borno
APC Congress: Why there is no descending voice in Borno
By: Yusuf Adamu
The All Progressive Congress, APC in Borno state has shone that unity among party members following the meeting held today at the multipurpose hall of the Maiduguri government house is a clear indication that the leadership under governor Babagana Umara Zulum is carrying everyone along on the decisions taking to shaping the future of the party in the state and to have others emulate the good example from Borno state.
The examplary demonstration of the stewardship of the governor Zulum administration and advices from party leaders like the former governor Senator Kashim Shettima, senators representing northern Borno – Abubakar Kyari and Senator Muhammed Ali Ndume of southern Borno as well as members of the house of representatives and stakeholders have spoken well of the party as it prepares for the coming Congress.
The outward demonstration of maturity and agreement that gives birth to peaceful meeting of party members is an indication that APC in Borno state has come of aged and standing as a true democracy. It also shows that, the governor has been leading the right way of leaders who are selfless in the discharge of their responsibilities.
The fact that there was no descending voice true out the cause of the meeting and even after is a positive indications that all those who are representing the party in leadership position both at the state and national levels has the stake of charismatic leadership that speaks volumes on the delivery of people trust and confidence repose on them.
The meeting has brought light to the cravings for equality among members and understanding among followership that makes APC thick under this democratic experience. The respect and total commitment exercise by members has gone steps further to bring out the best that any democratic governance can offer. This also has brought the fact that the consensus which was agreed upon today is heart warming and politically energizing is the making of a greater APC in Borno state.
- Yusuf Adamu writes from Maiduguri
The Rot in Education Predated Governor Buni, By Hassan Gimba
The Rot In Education Predated Governor Buni, by Hassan Gimba
I recently watched a video clip made by an old student of Fika Government Secondary School in which he showed how dilapidated the school is. It was first sent to me by a retired federal permanent secretary and later by a former minister of the federal republic. Among many others who sent the same clip to me is a friend who is a professor and a dean in Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi and another who is a state commander of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency. That means the video clip has gone viral.
Many of those who sent me the clip asked whether it was true. Some suggested I bring it to the notice of the Governor, His Excellency Mai Mala Buni. I appreciated all of them and thanked them for their belief and confidence that I would bring it to the governor’s notice.
I have not met and discussed it with the governor–yet–but I am sure he must have seen it by now. I am sure because I know he has his ears to the ground and has one of the best feedback mechanisms among the governors of the nation.
My take on the video is deep, as I explained to some of them who expected me to say something. Their unuttered query was like “being a journalist who knows the governor for ages and reports his activities, you must know something”. Therefore, tell them something without holding brief for those really responsible, I have to.
The rot in education in Yobe State has eaten deep over the years. Perhaps right from its creation. Anyone who listened to the video would attest to that. The videographer’s first sentence gave him out as someone who was unfortunate to go to a Yobe school in the 1990s, as he said, when education imparted was half-baked. Throughout his lamentations, his rendition suggested someone who needed further teaching to redo the WAEC in English, at least.
But people believe that once a message is conveyed, then language can be blown to smithereens. Well, his message was loud and clear, but our concern here is the quality of education he got in the 1990s. Meaning the poor quality of education in Yobe predated the emergence of Honourable Mai Mala Buni as the governor of the state.
Therefore, aware of the decay in the state of education, Governor Buni’s first act as governor, pronounced before he came down from the podium on the day of his inauguration, was the declaration of the State of Emergency on primary and secondary education. He followed that up by hosting an Education Summit on the 1st of July, after which he set up a Technical Committee under the chairmanship of Professor Malah Daura, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri.
To prove that it was not mere propaganda, that year he allocated to the education sector the largest share of N22.853b or 21.08%. In previous years education had very low allocations.
See attached graphs.
Reversing decomposition is not an effortless task. There are worse schools than Fika, in Yobe, unfortunately. Almost all the schools had not only dilapidated structures, but the absence of such when he took over. Typical examples are schools with structures meant for about 2000 but harbouring over 20,000 pupils.
However, from 2019 to date, he has rehabilitated and expanded many of the schools in the state. Fika and others in a similar state of disrepair are on the agenda and I am privileged to know that already the process for their rehabilitation has been kick-started. Meanwhile, he has built from scratch 14 new schools comprising seven mega and seven standard model schools, with each having 24 classrooms.
While the video clip is an eye-opener, it is also an indicator of how intense the atrophy in education in the state is and for how long.
But if we should be fair, the rot predated Governor Mai Mala Buni’s ascension. Again, to be truthful, he came intending to better education in the state and he has started.
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