By Bala Ibrahim.
When, shortly after his name was announced as the chairman, Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, CECPC, someone high enough in the scheme of things told me, His Excellency Mai Mala Buni was chosen to lead the party because of his pedigree in marvellous political management, and knowing the pedigree of the person that talked about Mai Mala’s pedigree, I couldn’t but agree at high degree.
Within weeks of assuming office, Mai Mala began the re-engineering of the entire party machinery, starting with sorting out the confusion that was suffocating the party with the exit of Adams Oshiomole, the suspension of the Governor of Edo state, chief Godwin Obaseki and a host of others.
With excellent expressions and show of great masterly skills in the management of people and party, he was quick to restore the confidence of members, by inventing people-friendly and workable initiatives, which won applauds everywhere. Through such initiatives, two former governors and two former speakers of the house of representatives returned to the party, including Chief Gbenga Daniel, Hon.Yakubu Dogara and Hon.Oladimeji Bankole.
Mai Mala’s miracles did not stop there, he began the exercise of refining the party membership, through the comencement of another round of registration. In the process, which is still ongoing, more intakes, including the Governors of Cross Rivers, Benedict Bengioushuye Ayade and his counterpart of Ebonyi State, David Nweze Umahi came into the party fold.
While announcing his defection, which everyone knows was influenced and midwifed by the inguinity of Mai Mala, and at a mega rally in Calabar, Governor Ayade said, “As a team, we want to work with Mr President towards building a prosperous country that his succession process in 2023 will come without fear and hitches. Having recognised the issue of our youths and unemployment, it is my responsibility to do what I can to assist the president in the building process. We need to position Cross River at the centre of activities and on that note, I declare Cross River as an APC State.”
Despite this, Mai Mala refused to consider himself accomplished, he continued with more miracles, the result of which is ringing, with the speculated coming of the Governors of Akwa Ibom, Abia and Zamfara states considered as nothing but a fait acompli.
Another magic amongst Mai Mala’s many marvels is his skilful suggestions on how best to market the party and the government, with the resultant hike in hyping publicity for both. The recent romance of Mr. President with the media and the reciprocal friendly changes the government is receiving from hitherto hostile media houses are all credited to the miracles of H.E. Mai Mala.
Although the national convention of the party is not likely to hold before the coming November, the ongoing party registration is said to have captured over 30million members already.
It is therefore not surprising that, the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), under the chairmanship of Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State, at a meeting in Abuja on Wednesday,15/06/21, passed a vote of confidence in the Mai Mala-led interim leadership of the party to continue its role in the APC. The governors said, “The vote of confidence is imperative to encourage the leadership of the party to continue its strides in piloting her to its next level. It would be recalled that the party under the leadership of Governor Buni was put in place to strengthen the ruling party in the face of some challenges. The Yobe State Governor and his CECPC Committee members have succeeded in attracting serving and former Governors, Senators, House of Representatives members as well as other notable opposition figures to the party. They have also helped in stabilizing the All Progressives Congress and midwife a successful membership drive to make the party the biggest in Africa,”.
With this vote of confidence, which is followed by the awesome and impressively successful visit of the president to Maiduguri today, Mai Mala’s leadership miracles and style are evoking additional admirations, that may compel a call for a possible tenure extension of the committee.
If success is counted by the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, especially on a given assignment, then Mai Mala and his committee members are qualified to be called successful, by every standard.