Mai Mala, the hero who rekindled my hope, by Muhammad Alhaji Abba Shishiwaji


Knowing you enlightens me; I had my own version of reality in my childhood. Like every child, I believed that dreams could become true. At least, those beautiful ones that left me with a smiling face and a gladdened heart, even though I woke up to a reality far from it.

Life for young people in my generation is tough, and for us in North-East Nigeria, it is even tougher, having to grapple with the scars of violence and chains of mediocrity. But your strides and achievements have challenged our excuses and defined our values.

I am not a fan of biographies, but I know your story and it inspires me. It is an anecdote of a man that did not only arise from ashes but moulded bricks out of the ashes to build a legacy.

Your efforts towards engaging and empowering young people of Yobe state and inspiring your counterparts in the North-East region to do the same has simply been exemplary.

The deepening of peace and reconciliation initiatives in the state has set a good foundation for the revival of our healthcare, education, and economic structures, and rekindled our hopes for the recovery of our collective livelihoods.

Little wonder the leadership of the All Progressive Congress chose you to lead the party when the storm descended.

Today, we have seen for ourselves how a political party of multitudes of men and women with soaring ambition, that had been plagued with acrimony, could engineer its own recovery and march towards lasting healing and success.

The values of integrity, patriotism, and positive reforms that once was the emblem of the APC are gradually finding their way back to the party.

Under your leadership, we saw the loss of an important state like Edo to archival handled so seamlessly that Nigerians marvelled at APC’s magnanimity.

You have demonstrated your democratic expertise by accepting defeat, congratulating the winner from the opposition and without the usual going to court.

The election was also without the usual show of federal might and a do or die approach. This is for sure an exemplary character, indeed, the APC under the mantle of your leadership has disputed the diffidence the Nigerians have on her.

Even though the times look tough for the All Progressive Congress, from the much I know about you, it too will rise from the ashes.

I had my own version of reality in my childhood. And in my youth, I have seen nightmares replace dreams. But knowing you have taught me that even nightmares are dreams, after all, we can make them good when we wake up and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.


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