Some milestones recorded by Gov Buni in 12 months, by Liman Goje

Governor Mai Mala Buni.
Governor Mai Mala Buni.

In the political space of Nigeria, every 29th May, with the exception of some incidental states is regarded as the start of tenures. It is also a time to take stock of how politicians whose political campaign promises are apprised against their accomplishments. On the anniversary of that day, citizens ask questions while leaders give accounts of their stewardship. But, the year 2020, is a period to lament the paucity of funds to run the government due to the COVID-19 pandemic that affects the global economy.

However, irrespective of the excuses for lack of funds, Governor Buni performs wonderfully well in different areas. This article tends to focus on the successes and achievements of Governor Mai Mala Buni’s one year in office. Has he advanced well? One tends to know what has happened to the continuity and consolidation agenda. What about the social security he promised the citizens of Yobe? The emergency on education, Housing, Healthcare, Agriculture, e.t.c.

See below how the promising governor touched every aspect.


In his effort to alleviate the suffering of the people, Governor Buni started by setting-up a Technical Committee on Immediate Framework for Agricultural Development. The committee liaises with traditional leaders in order to revamp agriculture in the state. The committee organized an agriculture summit (first of its kind ever in Yobe) and deliberated with stakeholders to chart a road map for the revival of agriculture as a viable business in the state and the country at large.

With this determination and focus, within one year in office, Governor Buni has made visible progress in this aspect. Agriculture has received the desired attention, especially wet season farming, and irrigation. This was as a result of his efforts and the Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme thereby demonstrating good political leadership to drive the process.

Governor Buni also created a loan package of tractors worth several millions of naira to accommodate farmers who were left out of mechanized farming. Honourable Mai mala also provided subsidized fertilizer to farmers in the state to boost production.

There is no doubt that the commitment shown by the governor has triggered off agricultural activities especially wheat, beans, maize, and sisem production in most parts of the state.


Another achievement accomplished by Governor Buni in the last one year was the completion of Buni Yadi township roads in Gujba Local Government Area which now wear a new look. Similarly, the same project was initiated and completed in Garin Bono, Damagum, and Jajimaji towns of Fune and Karasuwa Local Government Areas respectively.

Another milestone achievement recorded was the construction of a new road from Nguru to Balangua in Nguru Local Government. All these are geared towards his giant strides in providing good road networks to the towns and rural areas especially the farming communities in the state, linking many communities in the hinterlands. The Continuation of 25.5km DUAL carriageway from Damaturu to Kalallawa a village that housed the Yobe Cargo Airport is also at completion stage.

Today, residents of some villages and towns that never dreamt of having asphalt roads are smiling. Township road projects are being carried out in all the 14 local government areas of the state. Few among notable ones are the township road and concrete drainage in Damagum (Hq of Fune LG), township road and concrete drainage in Buni Yadi (Hq of Gujba LG), township road and concrete drainage in Babbangida (Hq of Tarmuwa LG), as well as township road and concrete drainage in Jajimaji (Hq of Karasuwa LG) all under 12 calendar month.


It was in view of the need to revamp and face-lift the basic education in the state that the Buni led administration declared a state of emergency in the education sector. A committee was set up six months ago after Yobe’s first-ever education summit to develop realistic work-plan and budget aimed at streamlining the education sector infrastructure, manpower and community development.

Already, the state government has concluded plans to launch an education for all programs to effectively provide basic educational needs for the people of the state. The move was part of the efforts to ensure that all the various stakeholders make their meaningful contribution towards revamping the sector. Thus, the state government intends to reach out to wealthy individuals, corporate organizations’, development partners, and donor agencies to complement its efforts in providing basic educational needs across Yobe.

Owing to this fact, the Buni led administration has the key in resources and constructed more schools and classrooms, renovate existing ones all across the 17 L.G.A’s Just under 12 calendar month. Governor Buni has also constructed 8 blocks of Upstairs (contained 38 classrooms, 12 offices, 18 toilets), 4 flat blocks (that contained 24 classrooms, 6 toilets & 6 offices), Borehole & fencing all tagged as MODEL Primary School in 5 different local government across three senatorial districts. Many schools have also undergone massive renovation and expansion within the last one year.


If there is one aspect worth talking about in Yobe since Buni took over the affairs of the Sahel state is the humanitarian aspect. Upon assumption of office, Governor Buni appointed Dr. Mohammed Goje as Executive Secretary to pilot the affairs of Yobe SEMA before the subsequent creation of Humanitarian Ministry.

Buni has demonstrated through SEMA his readiness to continue helping the conflict-affected communities. In one of his remarks, Buni said and I quote; “I have no reason to fail Yobeans, and I must not fail them so that posterity will judge me right”. He said and stewed it with all sense of humility. Today, his remarkable commitments are obviously attracting good names and support in Yobe, and Nigeria at large.

Under the watch of Governor Buni, SEMA has wonderfully reached out to orphanage homes, people living with disabilities, Almajiri schools, victims of floods, victims of fire incidents, windstorm victims, and resettlement of returnees from neighboring state and countries.

Buni also put to action the Distribution of Food & Non Food Items to over 100,000 Households across the state, in a program tagged as ' Governor Buni Livelihood Support Project' through SEMA.


Health they said is wealth. Society will not thrive if its health sector is held hostile. The administration of Governor Mai Mala Buni just like his predecessor has taken the health aspect serious than ever. No wonder Yobe has become a health tourist state in the entire northeast.

Buni first undertook the upgrading of Machina health care center to general hospital status to boost access to healthcare in Machina and neighboring communities. On assumption of office, Governor Buni vows to create one healthcare centre per ward. With all seriousness, most of the projects are completed and in use while others are at the completion stage.

Few among others are, Primary Healthcare Center in Jibulwa town of Gulani Gov't Governor, Construction of Primary Healthcare centre in Bayamari town of Bursari LG, Primary Healthcare Center in Goniri town of Gujba Local Government, primary healthcare center at Maana Community of Geidam local government, expansion, rehabilitation and reconstruction of Kumagannam Specialist Hospital of Yusufari local government area, Rehabilitation & Expansion of PHC in Gadaka, Fika LGA, construction Of 200 Bed capacity Hostel at Shehu Sule College Of Nursing & Midwifery Damaturu, Rehabilitation & Reconstruction of Buni Yadi General

Hospital In Gujba LG which has undergone a massive refurbishment, rehabilitation, expansion, as well as construction of new doctor's quarters, construction of new units, construction new fence, construction of new wards, construction of additional administrative offices, among others.

Governor Mai Mala Buni is undoubtedly leaving no stone unturned toward ensuring our healthcare institutions in the state are in better positions to serve the people. That is not all; Gov. Buni has within one year constructed Maternal, New-born and Child Healthcare Complex project at Yobe State University Teaching Hospital, Damaturu.

Just a few months into his administration, Buni increased the monthly allowances of Yobe female students studying in Shehu Sule College of Nursing & Midwifery Damaturu by 100%.


Knowing the yearning and aspiration of his people, Governor Buni swamp to action and ended Sumsumma/Abbari years of complete darkness, as he takes the first electricity to the people. This was in fulfillment of the promise he made on 6th September 2019 when he participated in a live radio phone-in Programme on Radio Yobe (YBC) during which his administration clocked 100 days in office, where he interacted with hundreds of Yobeansn across several communities.

During the program, some residents of Tsumtsumma, Abbari, and Anguwan Karo demanded and complained that their village existed for years without electricity. Buni pledged to do everything humanly possible to take electricity within a short period. His Excellency has already redeemed his pledge coupled with total electrification of Buni Yadi and Gujba towns.


At a time many state Governors are abandoning major projects initiated and started by their predecessors, Buni’s style is different. His campaign slogan tagged CONTINUITY & CONSOLIDATION has yielded a positive result. Just a few months after the oath, Buni’s readiness to complete all ongoing projects made the Nigeria Airforce Lands 2 Aircraft at Yobe International Cargo Airport to further confirm the reliability of the 3.6km long runway which, along with that of Abuja airport, is the second-longest airport runway in the country after Murtala Muhammed International airport Lagos.

According to the governor, the project is meant to “open the economy of the state for enhanced investment and better fortunes for the people.” In a recent visit to the site of the airport, the governor maintained that the project was timely and well-thought-out.

For the proper records, the aircraft that landed at the airport include a medium weight ATR 42, a Beachcraft 300, and an MI 171 Helicopter. All these followed those on May 29th, 2020, during Governor Mai Mala Buni's first year in office anniversary – when three aircraft landed and took off from the airport for the very first time.

Although the Yobe International Cargo Airport is still a work in progress with a number of important components, such as the tarmac, at final stages of completion, both GAIDAM and BUNI can take pride in their singular determination to see Yobe has an airport of its own.


Just like his predecessor, Governor Buni, on the assumption of office, he made it a habit of the payment of scholarships as part of his campaign promises to improve education in the state.

A scholarship package was awarded to 69 law graduates to attend the one year mandatory Bar Schools. Each of the awardees was given tuition, wardrobe allowance, book allowance, and a pair of laptops). In the same vein, Buni selected about 204 Yobe youth across the 17 L.G.A on merit after undergoing a mandatory aptitude test, the beneficiaries will soon depart Nigeria to start the program in India and other Asian countries.

REVIVING YOBE INDUSTRIES (Bringing Dreams to Fruition)

The creation of wealth through industrialization as well as the provision of first-class infrastructures are major attributes of Governor Mai Mala Buni. The arithmetic behind is that when operational, the companies/industries would create at least 50,000 jobs annually and also generates fortune for investors and the people.

Even with the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with paucity of funds, Governor Buni did never allow his mission to be aborted. However, Buni traversed the world in search of foreign investors to actualize the projects, and today; he seems to be making progress from all angles.

To his credit, within the last 12 months, Yobe flour mills Factory Potiskum which are the biggest in Northeast is back to life. Another is the Yobe Aluminum Company which has since started production. In addition, Governor Buni resuscitated the Yobe concrete Pole industry as well as the Polythene and Woven Sack all located within the state capital.

Under the watch of Governor Buni, construction of the modern market with 600 shops is currently ongoing in Buni yadi, Damaturu, Potiskum, and Gashua respectively. This is in addition to the Yobe Trailer/Truck Park recently flagged-up in the heart of Potiskum L.G.A.

Aside from creation of wealth through infrastructural development, the recent tree planting campaign tag as ‘Operation Protect the Environment’ represents another area Buni’s administration has targeted to create direct employment for at least 1,000 youths from the state’s three senatorial districts.


In one of his quotes, Governor Buni once said “A successful government is that which carries everybody along, irrespective of any difference’’. No wonder, this administration is termed YOUTH FRIENDLY a.K.a (GWAMNAN MATASA).

Many youths were for the first time keyed-in to contribute their quota. Notable among are: Dr. Salim (PP to HE), Dr. Mohammed Goje (ES, SEMA), Dr. Kundi Machina (ES, YPHCMB), Dr. Abbas (NEDC Focal Person), Dr. Kagu (ES, YSSB), Dr. Babagana Tijjani (ES, YoCHMA), Dr. Babagana Abba (PM, SoML), Haruna Maja (CPI), Arc. Damagum (SDG), Bature Goniri (GM, YOROTA) e.t.c

Today, with all sense of humility, these young people are excellently leading with a pragmatic leadership style. In fact, they are extraordinarily energetic and forthright in handling the affairs of their respective organizations. Today, they are making the entire Yobe youths even more proud.


Similarly, as part of his mission to provide shelter for his citizen, Governor Buni in March this year signed an agreement with Family Homes LTD, to begin the construction of 3600 housing units spread across Yobe’s 17 LGA.

The first batch comprising of 1800 units is nearly completed at the time of writing this. This is in addition to several staff quarters his government constructed in primary and secondary schools all across the three senatorial districts all in less than 12 calendar months.

Within the same period, Governor Buni has rehabilitated and expanded the Yobe state secretariat, Yobe state ministry of Women Affairs, the NYSC orientation camp in Potiskum as well as newly constructed 200-bed capacity hostel at Shehu Sule college of nursing and midwifery Damaturu.


Governor Mai Mala Buni has always been of the notion that the government at all levels must pay serious attention to Job creation for the youth as a way of addressing the lingering insecurity across the Northeast and the nation at large.

Buni said, “When youths are trained to become self-reliant and independent, it will drastically reduce youth restiveness, impatience and engagement in crime as well as anti-Social behaviors.”

To address youth joblessness and sluggishness, Buni selected and trained 500 youths selected across Yobe’s 17 L.G.A on paint production technology and supported them with capital in order to venture into business for self-reliance. Within the last quarter of 2019, another 187 youths were also selected and trained on digital photography and were later supported with cash, Cameras, printers, generators as well as computers.

In the same vein, 50 youths are currently undergoing a program tagged as ‘BUNI AUTOMOTIVE TRAINING’ at Peugeot Automotive Plant in Kaduna as well as another 150 who were selected as Money agents under the SANEF scheme all through SDG. Also, selected traders like (Tea sellers, vendors, GSM marketers, vulgarizers, bean cake sellers) were supported with cash to expand their businesses.


The achievement stems mainly from his ability to continue paying workers’ salaries as at when due. No wonder people tagged him as (MAGAJIN GAIDAM). Since he assumed office, he has never defied from paying workers emolument at a time many other state governors are unable to pay workers’ salaries. No one will deny the energy, passion, and the agility of Hon. Mai Mala Buni to leave indelible footprints in the state’s landscape.

Buni is one of the first three state governors to implement minimum wage both at local government and state level. One amazing aspect of Buni’s mission is his ability to pay local government/state retirees promptly.


Calming the Menace of Insecurity. Though he doesn’t talk much, Buni has embarked on some reforms to curb the demoralizing pains of insurgency that nearly pushed the state over the precipice. His task was not made easy with the paucity of funds. Due to the state’s rising security challenges, Buni donated security vehicles worth millions to the state Police Command among others.

According to statistics, this intervention has so far plucked the state’s crime rate by 65 percent in the first quarter of 2020.

Likewise, governor Buni initiated ‘The Light up Yobe Project.’ He introduced this initiative on a notion that crime “thrives best in darkness.” The initiative was designed “to light up our major roads, highways, and inner roads.” Consequently, the State Rural Electrification Board rehabilitated public street lighting within and outside the state.

Even though the state is faced with scarce resources, the governor said he was resolute in his commitment “to serve and justify the trust Yobe residents reposed in him.

May God bless Governor Mai Mala Buni and Yobe State.

Liman Goje Writes from Damaturu, Yobe State, and can be reached via 07032464552.


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