Home / Yobe / Memo to Mai Mala Buni, Yobe incoming governor

Memo to Mai Mala Buni, Yobe incoming governor


Your
Excellency sir, you deserve congratulations on your election. Never in the
history of Yobe state has a candidate been so overwhelmingly accepted by
virtually every one as you. The day you emerged the candidate of your party was
the day people started counting the days to your inauguration. That was for
those who were not privileged to know you well before.

For those
who knew you earlier, the tell-tale signs that you would sooner govern your
beloved state were obvious. You are one of the most intelligent, generous,
open, embracing and considerate politicians who has friends everywhere and
enemies nowhere ever to come out of the state. Above all, you are a real
bridge-builder with a listening ear to all who can whisper and a broad shoulder
for the head of the sorrowing.

Your
election has rekindled hope in the generality of the people. Previously, one
had to be from a particular elite class to make even the slightest of impact as
an aspirant. The state was drifting towards being the playground of those with
abundant but questionable wealth, those who have been in the corridors of power
since its (Yobe’s) creation and those who have the ears of the “owners” and
their political recruitment methods. They were also preparing to enslave the
state for their children and their anointed.

With your
emergence, you have opened the state up to the deserving. Any honest Yobean can
now rise up, beat his chest and aspire for greatness since he now knows and
believes he is a stakeholder and that his children, too, have hope.

Anywhere an
election that brings a government on board is tainted by force or subterfuge
will know little peace unless, or until, the wrong is righted. Yours was clean.
It was the choice of God exercised through the electorate. Your administration
will witness the peace that comes with people knowing it is their choice at the
driving seat.

With less
than ten days to your inauguration, you must know the expectations of people
from you are high. To whom much is given, it is said, much is expected.
Perhaps, never before has the expectation been this high apart from the
expectations after Yobe’s “independence” from Borno on August 27, 1991.

Yobe can be
the proverbial land flowing with milk and honey – the food basket of the
nation: a land where no man is, or feels, oppressed; where every citizen
deserves the opportunity to excel and where government officials can be
considerate and always make the collective good of all their primary interest.

But the
followership has its part to play. It must be able to shun sycophancy, always
tell the leadership the truth, and embrace hard work and belief, for it is
within its fold that leaders spring.

Out of many,
God, in His infinite wisdom, chose you. It must be for a purpose, which is
incumbent upon you to fulfil. Your mission is not in the dark; He has it cut
out for you. And, surely, He has equipped you for the task because He does not
do things at random. And out of many, you will pick those you will delegate
responsibilities to. Yobe is yours as God has willed. You are the father of
all, irrespective of party affiliation, tribe or which corner of the state one
comes from.

Your aides
must be made to know that the purpose you are entrusting them with
responsibilities is not to impoverish your people or marginalise any of them on
account of any mundane reason. They must be just and fair, not vindictive and
biased in whatever guise. They must know that the people are entrusted to you
by God. Leaving worthy legacies are far better than leaving mountains of gold
and silver.

Since the
1950s, our (all over Nigeria in general) campaign issues have always revolved
around pipe-borne water, poor hospitals, bad roads, fallen standard of
education, lack of agricultural inputs, etc, and they are still the campaign
issues of today and from all indications, I am afraid, of tomorrow.

Lay these
issues to rest so that your 2023 re-election campaign will be on the Next
Level.

Nigerian
parents and governments now send their children to Ghana, Togo, Niger, Benin
Republic and Sudan to study. I do not have to talk of Turkey, Europe, America,
Asia or the Middle East. How many Chadian parents send their wards to Nigeria
to study? But this outgoing administration has built a school where children
from all over the country come to study. More qualitative and specialised
schools that can rid the state of out-of-school children, thereby nipping
potential social strife in the bud, need to be built.

The giant
strides in health care delivery should be maintained to the extent that
Nigerians who rush abroad for medical treatment can come down to Yobe for
solutions to their health challenges.

Agriculture
with value-adding infrastructure should be enhanced. Therein is a promise for
massive economic engagement that can cut unemployment by half as well as lay
the foundation for industrialisation. This will, no doubt, improve personal
income and internally generated revenue for the state.

There is no
need to cry and despair over foreign investors. That, of course, does not mean
they cannot be courted; if they come, fine, if they don’t, fine, just
re-orientate the state’s outlook and world view. The state is blessed with
natural resources that Nigerians have the capacity to develop, individually and
collectively. Pursue that and, without begging, investors will troop in.

Another
matter you may want to look into is the issue of Umrah in the last ten days of
Ramadan. This time every year almost leaves the state empty with governance
taking the back seat.

This
Ramadan, because of baton changes almost all over the country, will be
different. Government officials will remain behind and this shows that if their
going to Umrah was solely to seek the face of Allah, nothing should stop them
from going.

In the Daily
Trust of October 10, 2008, Malam Adamu Adamu, in his column entitled Memo to
Umrah Returnees, gave a perspective into what Muslims spend on Umrah. The sum,
though colossal, was only for Umrah during the month of Ramadan.

His estimate
was N20.625 billion annually, which corresponds to N206.25 billion in 10 years.
But I believe this figure to be a conservative estimate. And do not forget that
the dollar was about N200 in 2008.

Agreed that
such a huge sum was for the whole country, but Yobe, relative to its size and
revenue, too, spends a lot on that. A third of the amount would go a long way
to improving the school systems, water, power, agriculture, health, etc. Such
amount, spent in the right way, would go a long way to alleviating the
socio-economic pressure that most households are grappling with.

But because
we lack depth and are inconsiderate of essence, a man’s neighbour(s) may be
wallowing in abject poverty while he indulges in such annual rituals and
gloating in the pride of owning mansions, exotic cars, hundreds of millions,
shares in choice companies and all that shows that one has “arrived”.

To make
matters worse, government business towards the end of Ramadan in almost every
state, not only Yobe, but in all of the north, comes to a halt because every
public officer has gone for Umrah. Yet, one can stay at home and develop ones
soul more than an Umrarite.

While it is
not a bad idea to go on such religious sojourns, it would be a welcome idea if
state funds are not used indiscriminately. Yobe needs every kobo ploughed into
its development.

Not many states,
including those in America and Europe, were as developed as Yobe when they were
of the same age it is now. This is a fact. But while it is also a fact that the
industrialised nations went through the evolutionary stages of development,
most modern nations less than 80 years old jumped a lot of stages in their bid
to develop, just like many toddlers are known to jump the stage of crawling to
that of walking.

It has
worked for some. But for some, they must pay the price while others are already
paying. For those who it is working for, they were blessed with good
leadership. Yobeans believe they have that kind of a leader in you.

Succeed you
must. Seek His guidance and protection. Failure is not yours and, in shaa
Allah, because you hate failure and your election has His stamp, those who may
think they can tie you down will forever remain disappointed, Your Excellency.

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