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Mai Mala Buni: My Governor,  my brother  at 55



Buni Describes Tinubu/Shettima Ticket Key to APC Victory in 2023

Mai Mala Buni: My Governor,  my brother  at 55

By Ibrahim Jirgi

I find it an honour and privilege to write this piece on the birthday of Mai Mala Buni, Yobe state Governor, a leader that holds much promise in keeping our state  focused and disciplined in the pursuit of  edifying goals and living with values that define the Northern character as a whole. 

As accurately described in a piece by, “at 55, Governor Buni is a success story. He is a celebration of life that has touched so many other lives positively. Like the goldfish that has no hiding place, Governor Buni has been identified, recognized and appreciated with several awards of Good Governance, Transparency and Accountability, Peace Ambassador and the National Honour of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).”

I particularly want to celebrate this moment with my brother and leader, Mai Mala Buni for his inspiring presence at all times and untiring efforts to keep the flames of our dedication to the interests of the people of Yobe and Nigeria alive.

It is important to place on record  the immeasurable gratitude of the people of Yobe to Governor Buni whose leadership, sacrifice, statesmanship, patriotism and unwavering commitment to the interests of the people of the state and citizens of Nigeria as a whole has few parallels today. 

At 55, Buni has molded himself into a passionate believer of the organic links between generations, always available for young people and the elderly and it is no exaggeration to say that the elders see him as a great statesman, but the youth celebrate him as a mentor, a guardian, a living history and an embodiment of all the exemplary qualities they should strive to achieve.

In particular,  a lot of young people draw inspiration from the life and works of Governor Buni and they strive, in all they do, to live by the personal and social values and standards he lives and set for himself as citizen, subject and leader.

He has grown to become a leader with an extensive political career who serves the country and the people of Yobe State with dedication, making very important contributions to the development of institutions and communities. 

Buni is a thoroughbred statesman determined to make the critical difference in the lives of the people he leads and who has so far, succeeded in building confidence across a wide spectrum of the social strata. 

A man of the people, Buni believes that governance ought to be a Ministry of Happiness; that political differences ought to be managed in order to pursue the greater good of society. 

Impressively,  Buni believes in local content: empowering indigenous Yobe contractors, building from within. Yobe prospered under him, although his detractors fail to appreciate the direction, meaning and focus of his brand of politics: namely, politics as a means of making society better, helping the people to live better lives.

For Mai Mala Buni,  it’s 55 years full of attainments and noble heights that loudly reverberates in his persona as one of Nigeria’s most gifted crisis managers of persuasions in contemporary times.

At 55, Buni is celebrated as a cerebral leader, politician, democrat, administrator, businessman, articulate manager of human and material resources, bridge builder, and governance expert.

Today, Governor Buni, Governor Buni, combining the task of governance and party administration with diligence, has outlined his priorities as a Governor and setting his target goals as a political party administrator to reposition the  All Progressives Congress, APC. His multisectoral development programme for Yobe covers all aspects of the People’s life. 


To the glory of God, 138 out of the proposed 178 Primary Healthcare Centers have been completed, furnished, equipped and put to use. Six Primary Health centers are now upgraded to General Hospitals while Four General Hospitals were also upgraded to Specialists Hospitals. 


The State Teaching Hospital was upgraded to be in tune with changing times, making the Teaching Hospital one of the best in the country! boasting of adequate manpower and state-of-the-art machines.

The aspiration of Yobe state government under the Governor Mai Mala Buni administration to curb the unacceptable rate of maternal, newborn and under-5 child mortality in the state; is graduating from a dream to solid reality, with the completion of the construction of the  Maternity, Paediatrics and Newborn Complex, at the Yobe State University Teaching Hospital, Damaturu.

Building Nigeria’s largest Maternal and Child Healthcare Complex

The Buni administration has constructed Nigeria’s largest maternal and child care complex. The structure has been completed and is now being equipped for inauguration by President Muhammadu Buhari. 

The structure is made up of seven blocks of one storey complex with patient-friendly spaces in accordance with the global best practice in modern maternal, Newborn and Paediatric health care as obtained in advanced countries. 

The architectural masterpiece would satisfactorily take care of expectant/nursing mothers, their newborn babies as well as children in general. 

The Obstetrics and Gynaecology wing of the Complex has 64 Open cubicles, five Call duty rooms, five satellite pharmacies, one side Laboratory and four Nurses’ stations.

The Special Baby Care Unit (SCBU) has three adjoining generously spacious and nicely done wards that is 28 baby cots wards for newborn babies suspected of sepsis, 10 newborn cots wards for out-born babies, and 10 newborn baby cots wards for In-born babies, four Nurses’ stations, 10-bedspace room/unit for their nursing mother. 

In addition, there is a 10-bed space room for nursing mothers to breastfeed their newborn babies, five Doctor’s rest/Call duty rooms, five nurses’ rest/change rooms, five offices for the unit Matron in charge, four additional offices for health information management/documentation, seminar room, a library and with Kitchen and stores.

The Labour ward and obstetrics theatre units; have provision for four operation suites (including attached sterilization and scrubbing area, six recovery rooms, additional offices for anesthetics perioperative nurses, other theatre support staff, males and females change rooms, common room for staff on duty,   seminar and computer rooms.

The Paediatric medical ward has 40 cubicles, four call rooms, four side labs and a satellite Pharmacy.

Similarly, the Emergency Paediatrics Unit has 32 bed space cubicles (including a resuscitation cubicle), 2 doctor’s call duty room, a side laboratory, nurses’ station, change room, satellite pharmacy and eight staff offices.

Apart from the gigantic MNCH Complex the Yobe State Government under the able and dynamic leadership of Hon Mai Mala Buni CON has constructed a modern 150-bed capacity isolation center with a state-of-the-art Public Health Laboratory at the Yobe State University Teaching Hospital Damaturu.

In line with Governor Buni’s policy of providing standard and functional health facilities at all levels, state-of-the-art equipment are being installed at the center to provide all the necessary healthcare services to mother and child, to effectively curb the menace of maternal and child mortality in the state.

Meanwhile, a 32 apartment block of officers quarters has been constructed at State Teaching Hospital to build upon the already existing housemanship programme at the Yobe State Specialist Hospital Damaturu.


The Buni administration rehabilitated existing schools and established six modern and seven Mega schools to decongest schools, procured books and laboratory equipment worth billions of Naira, employed more teachers, trained and re-trained more teachers to enhance manpower to improve quality of education in the state. Government is sponsoring over 220 students to India, and many others in various institutions across the globe studying specialised courses.


The Buni regime has completed the state-owned international Cargo airport which it inherited at skeletal stage. It is now ready for commissioning. It also initiated and constructed four modern markets to create conducive environment for trade and commerce for economic development, resuscitated three dormant industries, provided women and youth empowerment initiatives for self-employment, constructed 2,300 housing units the largest housing intervention since the creation of the state. 

Roads and Electrification

Numerous township and inter- town roads have been constructed to facilitate movement of goods and services. Government has also provided 133 communities with electricity supply to make life better for the benefitting communities. Today, there has been an increase in self-employment and economic empowerment in the benefitting communities.


The Yobe state government under the able leadership of Governor Buni is transforming agriculture from subsistence farming to commercial based agriculture through provision of inputs and implements.

It is indeed gratifying that the Buni administration is rated by independent Budget monitors as one the best in Nigeria in Capital Budget Expenditure, and prompt in payment of workers’ salaries and the best performing state in due process, transparency and accountability in the conduct of government business.

This is wishing our amiable Governor a happy birthday at 55 and prayer for more blissful years ahead.

***Jirgi,  a journalist, is Managing Director, Tripple CEE

Mai Mala Buni: My Governor,  my brother  at 55

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Mala Kachallah: 17 years ago And Fresh On My Mind



Mala Kachallah: 17 years ago And Fresh On My Mind

By: Inuwa Bwala

Having worked very closely with other bosses besides Mala Kachallah, people often wonder and ask me about what makes Mala Kachallah so unique that I find it difficult to forget him for close to two decades.
I often find it difficult to explain, but I know that there exists an unbroken cord, which not even death could break.
And as the date marking the seventeenth anniversary of his death approached, I knew duty beacons on me to again test my annual fidelity.
But I did not know what new thing I needed to say, seventeen years after the death of Mala Kachallah, different from what I have written before.

The more I tried to forget the events of Wednesday 18th April, 2007, the fresher everything seem to be, reminding me and indeed, many of his disciples of the sad reality of having to live in perpetual nostalgia of the times we shared with Mala Kachallah.
Every anniversary of that day gives me, in particular, cause to reminiscence.

For me, every time I think some events will make me overcome the nostalgia, every year brings with it fresh tears for Mala Kachallah.
While fewer people today remember him, every passing year, comes with fresh questions about leadership and the challenges of today.
from people who still remember him.

I am not surprised that so many people, who hitherto adore him, seldom remember him today, given the existential challenges everyone seems to be facing. But I am afraid that our quest for survival may swallow with it the history of our heroes who are not physically with us today.
Just as the grasses of time seem to overgrow our senses of remembrance, so is the cemetery getting congested, with so many tombs threatening to swallow the exact spot Mala was buried.

For the third year now, I have not been to the Gwange cemetery for the usual homage, but that has not beclouded my sense of fidelity for the man, whose real value, many people did not appreciate untill he was gone.
I woke up this morning not knowing what to write, but I dug up an older piece I wrote and tried to cannibalise some thoughts, even as a fulfilment of my onligation.

Every time I recall my days with the sage, the thought of a few people come to my mind. Some are still around, while others have joined the world beyond.
Every time I think of Mala Kachallah, some people readily come to mind: People like Ali Abubakar Jatau, Dr Shettima Mustapha, Alhaji Ahmed Ashemi, Mala Alamai, Baba Dunoma, Maina Mohamned Tar. Fati Kakeena, Bashir Dungus. Iliya Stephen, Halima Rabassa, Mohammed Monguno, Kolo Warne, Alibe Konduga, Abba Habib, Modu Ngobama, Kabiru Sai Mala, and many more.
Very often, I try to juxtapose events of Mala Kachallah’s regency, against the Birno of today. I conclude that, even if he were physically around today, it is quite possible that he may not be in the right physical frame to do much, but his presence alone could have served as a reference point in political leadership.
Christened as the Captain Of Peace, one is bound to wonder hiw he would have felt, seeing the peace he bequeathed to Borno, fast giving way.
He may not be able to hold court but he could have been the oracle around whom good students of leadership could converge.

Mala Kachallah may not be strong enough to make powerful public speeches, or visit others, but his elderly counsels, his calm and candour, could have been a take away for everyone that visit.
As for me, I still relish the rich tutelage and his fatherly guide. Some of the things he used to tell me have tended to shape and reshape my outlook in life and forever I remain indebted to him even in death.

Mala Kachallah: 17 years ago And Fresh On My Mind

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Tributes: Dr. Madu Garga Mailafiya, 1942–2024



Tributes: Dr. Madu Garga Mailafiya, 1942–2024

By: Balami Lazarus 

I was with him in his residence in Maiduguri three weeks before he passed away, on February 18, 2024. Dr. Madu Garga Mailafiya was looking fine and in good, healthy condition. There was no sign of a final good-bye this time around in my mind. 

Dr. Madu and I had a long discussion on the state of the nation and some contemporary issues and ended with Zaria/Samaru nostalgia as a lecturer at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria in the 1970s, where Mailafiya taught mass media. Unknowingly to us both, death was lurking around.     

On March 29th, 2024, I was again at No. 30 Bukar Dapcharima Road, Old GRA Maiduguri, his residence, for the 40th day of prayers, where prayers were offered for the repose of his gentle soul. 

Dr. Madu Garga Mailafiya was born on October 12, 1942, in Gwaski, Sakwa district of Hawul Local Government Area of Borno State. Having schooled both at home and abroad, he became an ace journalist and broadcaster who had worked in various capacities in the electronic media sector and ended his career in retirement as Executive Director of News with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in Abuja. 

Testimonies and tributes said of him portray him as a good man with a large heart who has contributed to the human and capital development of his community. He was 81 and survived by his children and grandchildren. 

Balami, a publisher and columnist.

Tributes: Dr. Madu Garga Mailafiya, 1942–2024

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Pam Dauda Reng: An Elder in Life and in Death



Pam Dauda Reng: An Elder in Life and in Death

By: Dr. James BWALA

I saw the post on the Borno NUJ WhatsApp platform at 4:09 p.m. It was posted by the NUJ Chairman, comrade Dauda Iliya. It was not expected, as always, but it is the reality of life. stage for one at a time. This time, our elder, as we all called him, answered the call to be with his Creator. For us, it was as sad and shocking as it was for his family, friends, and associates. I immediately called on Sir Raymond Gukas, who, seeing my calls, knew it was about Elder Pam. His demise was not without shocking waves for every journalist, especially those of us who worked with him.

I recalled the first time we met. But I have heard his name. My brother, Hon. Inuwa BWALA, always called this name long before I joined their profession. I also recalled when I first went out on an assignment with him. We took a taxi from Shehu’s palace to the post office then, and as often with journalism professionals, we debated issues and happenings from our own point of view and journalistic findings. Only at that time was he having the debate with another respected elder, whom we called Gomna Mshelizza.

They were by far my seniors in age and experience, so I could not join in the debate but listen and learn from their wealth of experience. As the driver moved and pulled over to pick and drop passengers, I was listening to these two genres, expressing myself with a smile and supporting both factions when they demanded my nodding. I was a green horn but a novelty one, and these two brought me as close as possible because I was fast at learning the ropes.

At the Maiduguri Government House, we filed our stories by fax machine afterwards. We call it a day and to meet in the morning for another dutiful day. Elder Gomna Mshelizza left, and I and Elder Pam marched to the gate to catch a taxi to the post office, where we would split and move to our destinations. In between the distances we were trekking, we discovered a friendship. He was an elder and my senior brother’s friend who became my friend. He was a good man.

As journalists, sometimes we prove to be stubborn in putting superior argumentation over issues with our jobs. However, we hold Elder Pam’s decisions most superior and cases close. He became the rallying point for easing tension among colleagues. He was also an adviser and bridge builder. When I had issues with my friend and colleague, the late Isa Gusau, the Borno governor’s spokesman, Elder Pam was readily available to help me cross the obstacles placed in my way when every other person seemed to have distanced themselves, even as a chapel. He was there to advise and encourage until the issues were resolved.


Although that move became a blessing to me, I see him as one of those who never stopped calling me while I was in the wilderness after I was declared persona non grata to the seat of government, and the “Qua or Kwa” was fully denied me when the government released such a relief cup for practicing journalists in Borno State. I survived through the woods with his advice and encouragement until the end of that struggle.

When everything was settled and friendships were rebuilt, I had already found my foot on other grounds where I was building on my career and future in the journalism profession. Elder Pam was, however, always there to check on how I was doing and keep faith. He always told me that was life, and I believe him. On February 21, 2024, we were chatting on WhatsApp, discussing issues in the country. His last text reads, “Be thankful always.”.

I had thought of him last week and also yesterday, but I could not call. I had thought I would be around Jos sometimes in April and hoped that I could have a time to visit him and shook hands since he was said to have been leading a community as a traditional leader in his community, but death doesn’t give time. All I have to say is that, Elder, we all appreciate you and hope to meet at the foot of the master when the roll call is made for us to leave this sinful world, as those on the pulpit would always remind us on a Sunday….And he would always say…”To God Be The Glory.”

James BWALA, PhD, writes from Abuja.

Pam Dauda Reng: An Elder in Life and in Death

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