Dr Goje’s Ten Days as YOSEMA Boss: Promising Beginning of Governor Buni’s Consolidation Agenda, by Suleiman Dauda

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For leaders that are appointed, elected or promoted to a new position, the first few days in office means a lot as they must earn public trust and repay confidence of citizens and of their followers and set a long-term agenda for their success in office. Following Governor Buni’s appointment of Dr Mohammed Goje as YOSEMA’s Executive Secretary, his first ten days in office have no doubt confirmed and justified the Governor’s confidence in him through a series of highly inspiring inception-commitments, action-oriented initiatives, increased visibility for SEMA, pragmatically optimistic and an ignited passion in driving the Governor’s agenda through this very important public institution.

In his first day in office – on 29th June 2019 – Dr Goje resumed and assumed,full of passion, and immediately briefed his team about his plans and conveyed his basic values and Governor Buni’s agenda that will serve as the organization’s framework in SEMA’s decision-making for the common interest of Yobeans and in conformity with the new administration’s priorities.  Without promising miracles, Dr Goje made it clear to the entire staff of SEMA his determination and management style of open, honest and objective approach to public issues and his good intentions to forge a strong bond with all staff within SEMA and promised to graciously receive their feed backs to continuously improve the Agency. Immediately after his inception meeting, he planned to commence taking departmental briefing starting with his messenger, office driver and others followed. 

On Monday 1st July, the new ES joined HE Governor Buni and other invited dignitaries to the opening of Yobe Education Summit as part of the Governor’s pledge and declaration of ‘state of emergency’ in Primary and secondary education in the state. By 2pm same day, Dr Goje led a group of professionals and political youth wing from across the state to a ‘thank you’ visit to the Governor and various speakers appreciated and thanked Governor Buni for fulfilling his promises during the campaign by forming a youth inclusive administration. The ES later held a closed-door meeting with Governor Buni and briefed him on his assumption of office and reaffirmed his commitment and loyalty to the administration’s continuity and consolidation agenda through SEMA.

On Tuesday 2nd July the ES was already out in the field. He was at Gabai village in Gulani local government to flag off the distribution of agricultural support to farmers jointly with Nigerian Refugees Commission. His mission and message were clear at the event, to ensure the right beneficiaries are selected and the complete package delivered to them in a more transparent, accountable and coordinated manner which is in line with Governor Buni’s mandate.

On Wednesday 3rd July, the new ES visited some vulnerable communities in Potiskum for on-spot assessment and immediately directed his team to profile those affected and deliver to the victims their immediate needs – packages of Non-food items to 130 most affected households in the community. The beneficiaries were amazed by the gesture and thanked the Governor and SEMA for coming to their aid.

On Thursday 4th July, while the ES continued taking briefings from various departments within the agency. At 2PM as directed by the Governor, he proceeded to General Hospital Buni Yadi to inspect services provided to the returning community and delivered support of drugs, medical consumables and hospital equipment to ensure the hospital returns to its full functional capacity for the benefit of the teeming people of Gujba local government. Same day on Thursday the ES advanced to Wagir community in Gujba local government to lead UNDP support to 500 benefiting farmers with various agricultural inputs in preparation for the farming season.

On Friday 5th July, Dr Goje led SEMA management team and inspected the entire SEMA warehouses and storage centers in Damaturu metropolis and immediately directed his team to take full inventory and submit a written report for the Governor’s approval. 24 hours after, the Governor directed SEMA to coordinate, identify vulnerable households and orphanages for immediate support with food items to cushion the effect of their hardship.

On Monday 8th July, in compliance with Governor Buni’s directives, the ES visited YETIM care foundation and delivered food support to the orphanage and interacted with staff and students who could not visibly hide their joy and admiration for Governor Buni’s continuous gesture and compassion through SEMA.

On Tuesday 9th July, The State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in line with its statutory mandate of coordinating efforts and activities of international organizations and donor partners in the state, convened a state level coordination meeting with all UN agencies, INGOs and partners providing humanitarian support to the state. The ES extended Governor Buni’s appreciation to the humanitarian and development partners in the state and reaffirmed the  administration’s continuous support to sustain humanitarian commitments to the teaming Yobe State citizens in need and promised to provide all the resident development partners and other INGOs in the state the enabling environment – through coordinated meetings of this nature and by facilitating a coherent humanitarian response that is state-driven and in line with Governor Buni’s administration’s priorities. The ES made clear the aim of the meeting is “to cut unnecessary and expensive duplication of effort in different sectors and areas of your various interventions across the state”.

On Wednesday 10th July, the ES and the entire SEMA team led a flag off ceremony of NEMA emergency Agricultural Intervention Fund. The support will target an estimated 11,000 households as beneficiaries in Yobe State. Items distributed include fertilizers and other important Agric implements. The ES thanked the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari for the sustained military efforts and putting in place several measures aimed at reducing the adverse effects of the crisis in Northeastern Nigeria and thanked NEMA for the continuous partnership and timely delivery of support to Yobe. 

Not by coincidence, Dr Goje’s emergence, wide acceptance and outstanding performance in the last ten days as SEMA Boss have confirmed his excellent qualities and in-depth knowledge of the working in emergency and development sector.

By inculcating the four stages of Emergency Management – Preparedness, Mitigation, Response and Recovery – in running the affairs of SEMA and in his passionate concern to harmonize all development partners’ support in Yobe State to Governor Buni’s administration priorities, he has shown that his excellent initiative will greatly reduce poverty among the most vulnerable groups and promote sustainable impact across the state.

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