By Buba Obadiah Umoru
A dog that will be lost will never hearken the whistle of the hunter. This is a common cliché among several of Nigeria’s ethnic nationalities. It is also common parlance that he whom the gods want to kill, they first make mad. The above two proverbial shibboleths perfectly describe the personage of the disgraced Chairman, Caretaker of Extraordinary Convention and Planning Committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mai Mala Buni who also doubles as Governor, Yobe State. Naturally, when an individual decides not to leave the stage when the ovation is loud, it usually ends in disgrace. Such is the fate that has just befallen Mai Mala Buni.
Buni was a man providence has constantly smiled on since his joining politics in the 1990s. From a relatively unknown councillor to becoming a Legislative Assistant at the National Assembly in the 2000s and acting as both Chairman, Advance Congress of Democrats (ACD) and of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2006 and 2007 respectively. And then his stint with the then All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) in Yobe State until he was recommended by the National Leader, All Progressives Congress (APC) as the Assistant Secretary of the Party when it was formed and finally as the Party’s substantive National Secretary before he went to contest in 2019 as a governor and his eventual victory at the poll.
The disgraced former leader of the CECPC took his luck too far. When Mr President beckoned on him to stabilise the Party after the impasse that characterised the last few weeks of former Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s leadership and to midwife the Party’s convention within six (6) months, little did the Party and indeed his employer know that he had his sinister motives. Rather than concentrate on his job’s terms of reference, our dear gluttonous Governor and Chairman was surreptitiously and clandestinely plotting to perpetuate himself in office.
Buni and his co-wayfarers would continue to seek an extension of office for what came out later to be a subterfuge at self-serving agenda. For the discerning minds who have followed events in recent months, the general impression was that of a man who was swayed by office appurtenances and therefore lost focus. He may have seen Yobe, his primary responsibility as too little an investment to reap bountifully from. Of course, controlling the 37 States of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory is a treasure no one, especially if they are esurient and rapacious will want to let go easily. But then, it is always good to leave the stage when the ovation is loudest, otherwise, it might spell doom like it came crashing on Buni with all its concomitant shame.
Buni and some reprobate State functionaries did all they could so that the Party would demise for their selfish and egocentric ends. The courting of former President Goodluck Jonathan for selfish political reasons, the harvest of several political burdens or liabilities in the name of ‘winning’ more souls into the Party and several hush-hush moves all aimed at self-serving agenda which has now ended in fatality and utter embarrassment for him and his co-conspirators. And like pointedly captured recently by a prominent chieftain of the ruling APC in the North-Western State of Kano, Buni’s deftness was that of an undertaker who was hell-bent on taking the Party to the Golgotha.
The plot as observed in many quarters was simple – Gov Mai Mala Buni wanted to perpetuate himself running the affairs of the Party and was positioning himself as the one who would conduct the Party’s primary where (APC) candidates for 2023 elections would emerge. It is the very reason there were allegations of Gov Mai Mala Buni allegedly striking deals with some Presidential aspirants to ensure their emergence as the Party’s Presidential Candidate for the 2023 elections. Some of the allegations suggest extortions by the Buni-led CECPC from these so-called aspirants, which allegedly included before now an aspirant who was yet to join the Party.
Grapevines had it that campaign offices for the aspirant were already being opened across the country even before he joined the ruling party. All these and some other untoward attitudes from Gov Buni may have created distrust, especially from Mr President towards his leadership. He would further prove his avarice with his attempt to constitute another zoning Committee after a meeting of Mr President and the Progressive Governors on zoning where reports had it on finality.
Buni from all indications was not interested in midwiving the convention slated for March 26. His last 3 postponements between November 2021 and January 2022 were enough proof that he had a game plan which came to an abrupt end on Monday, March 7, 2022, with his ouster. Wherever he is today, Buni will be full of regret for his actions and inaction.
It is not impossible that having been summarily thrown under the bus by Mr President, he may have another hurdle to cross at his home State of Yobe where he has been an absentee governor for almost 2 years now. His edacious and hoggish penchant for dollars may have brought down a man with so much providence thrown at him.
Au revoir, Mr Buni. Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish!
Buba Obadiah Umoru