The emergence of Mai Mala Buni, the National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the governor-elect of Yobe State during the 2019 general elections can best be described as providence.
That Mai Mala Buni was on his way to ascending to power became evident from the moment he clinched the APC governorship ticket in the state, as it was doubtful, if not almost impossible to find any governorship candidate in Yobe State who can match the political machinery of the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to talk of defeating the party’s candidate, Mai Mala Buni, in the elections.
This is because the APC had become a sort of melting pot in Yobe State politics over the years and it could not be imagined that the party can possibly loss election in a fair electoral contest in the state.
Born on November 11, 1967, Mai Mala is a thorough bred party grassroots politician, who rose through the ranks to become the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Legislative Matters, the pioneer Chairman of the APC in Yobe State as well as the National Secretary of the party.
He played a stabilising role in the APC, which earned him a re-election into the post. Mai Mala Buni has developed a political network of friends across the country particularly when he served as the National Secretary of the APC.
A silent operator, Mai Mala has been described as an asset to Yobe State because of his capacity to bring the state into national political limelight and attract various projects from the Federal Government.
Though Yobe is a rural state with various challenges of development, especially bedeviled with the challenges of its own bitter taste of the Boko Haram insurgency, which practically stalled development in areas that have direct impact on the human capital development indices, the state under Mai Mala is still expected to glow among the comity of states.
It is believed that in the face of the security challenge that faced the state, the out-going Governor Ibrahim Gaidam is generally believed to have performed excellently in building the confidence of the citizenry in the government as well as the provision of infrastructure and social services ranging from health care delivery to schools, roads, agriculture, etc, which many say will be an added advantage to the incoming governor.
All eyes are now on Mai Mala Buni to consolidate on the achievements of Governor Gaidam and equally expand the frontiers of development in Yobe State.
The victory of Mai Mala Buni of the APC in Yobe State was actually not unexpected as the APC, being an amalgam of the legacy parties including the defunct ANPP, which though had been in the opposition between 1999 and 2015 at the national level, when it clinched the presidency; it had indeed dominated the political landscape in Yobe.
Even with the federal might of the then ruling PDP, backed by political heavyweights from the state, the highest the PDP could ever get in the state was the seat for the Southern Senatorial Zone.
This many believe has set the stage for the governor elect to hit the ground running as there is already a groundswell of support urging him on in the state.
The ANPP in Yobe State, which formed the APC, had its roots in the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP), which formed government under the diarchy rule of General Ibrahim Babangida in 1992 with Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim as the governor.
Therefore it is safe to say that the APP, which later metamorphosed into the ANPP and then became APC has been governing Yobe in a democratic setting since its creation in 1991.
Therefore the emergence of Mai Mala Buni as the governor of Yobe State in the 2019 general election is a fait accompli because of the rich history and political exploit of the APC and the galaxy of rated politicians who populated the party in the state and this many believe the governor elect should build on to achieve success for the state within a short time.
Of course leading the way in the campaign for Mai Mala is no other person than Governor Ibrahim Gaidam himself, who is ably supported by Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Senator Ahmed Lawan, Ibrahim Bomoi, the Senatorial Candidate for the Southern Zone, Party Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Chilariye, Alhaji Idi Barde Gubana, the Deputy Governor, Engineer Abubakar Aliyu, among other politicians.
The unity of purpose in the Yobe APC was amply demonstrated when other aspirants of the party’s governorship ticket sacrificed their ambition and agreed to rally round and work for the victory of Mai Mala Buni at the polls.
With such a formidable structure, which gave him victory at the poll, it is only reasonable to expect that the state was heading to another era of delivering of democratic dividends to the people of the state.