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Messages - Abbas Bubakar El-ta'alu

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From News Sources / Buhari’s handshake and handcuff!!!
« on: March 25, 2011, 05:37:42 AM »
By Ebele Chukwu
Obasanjo never hid his disgust for General Sani Abacha who had jailed him for a “phantom coup”. Released from jail and still wallowing in a fit of new found spirituality, he wrote a book and called it “The Animal Called Man”. And he elected to wage a battle on this “Animal Called Man”.
While taking his oath of office at the Eagle Square on 27th May, 1999, he had pledged to wrestle corruption out of our national psyche. In a fit of mediaeval triumphalism, he chanted: “there will be no sacred cows!” 
But his first attack was a disaster. No sooner had he made that declaration than he dispatched Mallam Haroun Adamu to the headquarters of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), an intervention agency run by General Muhammadu Buhari, to start the war on corruption. Haroun Adamu’s public brief was to wind down PTF but the hidden one was to disgrace General Buhari by exposing the “shady deals” in PTF.
Contractors working for PTF were used to picking their cheques across the counter without much ado. Under the new inquisitor, contractors discovered they now had to oil their cheques out, something alien to the PTF they knew. They cried foul. And there were several other fouls after the first foul. To say that Obasanjo was thoroughly embarrassed by his minions would be an understatement, so much so that till date he does not discuss PTF in public.

As a General, it would appear that Obasanjo read Sun Tzu’ s “The Art of War” upside down. Sun Tzu had counselled: “Know thyself; know thy enemy. You will fight a thousand battles without defeat.” The blitzkrieg he deployed only showed he did not know PTF. He might not have needed to fire a shot to win or wean PTF. To date, most Nigerians knew how PTF started, what it did but not how it ended. Not known as one who forgives, was it not surprising that General Buhari walked the streets with his head high throughout Obasanjo’s imperial majesty when the fear of EFCC was the beginning of political wisdom?
In October 1994, General Sani Abacha increased the pump price of petrol from N3.25k to N11.00 per litre. Nigerians assailed him with criticisms for this unpopular move and to assuage their feelings, he quickly established the Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund to use a portion of the proceeds of the increase to intervene in critical sectors of the economy. Nigerians never took Abacha seriously on this project until Gen Muhammadu Buhari was announced and inaugurated the chairman of the PTF in March 1995.
That PTF awarded contracts worth billions of naira is not news. The news the PTF made within the four years it existed was and still is that contracts awarded were executed to their logical conclusion and for those not executed, the PTF got every kobo back. Before PTF, contractors were used to abandoning contracts and bolting away with their advance payments. It never happened in PTF. When Buhari visited the Onitsha end of the Enugu-Onitsha express way awarded to a local contractor and discovered the job was abandoned, he simply called on the bank that guaranteed the contractor to pay back. There and then, the contract was terminated and later awarded to another contractor. From that moment, banks and insurance companies that provided bonds to contractors learnt that the old order had changed and had to monitor projects it guaranteed.
For the years it existed, PTF published its annual reports and always addressed press conferences to respond to issues arising from the reports. And each time it did, it challenged anybody who could deliver on any of its projects at a price cheaper than what it cost the PTF to submit his proposal. Nobody ever did.
In one of the presentations of its annual report, the Executive Secretary of the Board of the PTF, Chief Tayo Akpata, maintained that the roads constructed by the PTF not only cost less than World Bank funded roads but were also better qualitatively. He challenged anyone to prove the contrary. Until the PTF was scrapped, nobody did.

While the PTF existed, contractors never needed to lobby and grease palms to get LPO’s. You only needed to belong to the appropriate group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and other professional groups to qualify. Not a few contractors received requests to supply the PTF in the comfort of their offices. It was so unbelievably true that some had to travel to Abuja to reconfirm if the LPO’s they received were genuine. And genuine they were.
To be paid for a completed contract, all the contractor needed was to present a certificate of completion issued by the ubiquitous consultants engaged by the PTF and his cheque would be prepared. And with a proper letter of introduction, a contractor could send a third party to pick his check across a counter in the Finance Department without any ceremony. Picking a cheque then was just like walking into a bank to withdraw cash across the counter. As staff of Set and Sell Communications Ltd and later Media Trust Ltd, I personally picked several cheaques on behalf of these firms. The challenge the finance department of the PTF faced then was getting contractors to come and pick their cheaques which would pile up for months as a good number never knew it was so simple.
One cannot also forget in a hurry the PTF drug revolving scheme. Under this, the PTF set up offices in hospitals across the country and supplied them with drugs. The financial consultants employed by the Fund ensured that receipts from the sales of the drugs were used to replenish the stocks in an unending cycle that banished out-of-stock anthem the Nigerian public was forced to listen to before then. And it was not easy to divert PTF drugs to the parallel market. The smallest tablet supplied had PTF logo engraved on it. Somebody attempted diverting the drugs and was caught. General Buhari took up the case personally and ensured the culprit went to jail. After that, nobody heard of diversions again.
The strategy of the PTF in procuring these drugs is worth reviewing. Over 60% of the drugs supplied to the PTF were locally produced. In fact, the PTF only imported drugs that could not be produced by the local pharmaceutical firms. The pressure on the existing pharmaceutical companies was so much that almost all these firms had to increase their capacity by expanding and employing more hands. Neimeth Pharmaceuticals, Emzor Pharmaceuticals among others can be contacted to affirm or disprove this. This policy was deliberately made to ensure that more jobs were created within the economy.
Builders who built for PTF would also tell you that they were not allowed to import paints. There was a list of all the paint manufacturers in the country maintained at the PTF from which builders bought paints.  Within the same period, the capacity utilisation in these companies soared as they expanded and created more jobs. A look at the records kept by IPWA plc and other existing paint makers within the period under review is worth attempting to digest the profundity of the PTF intervention in the building sector; and other sectors it intervened in as its model was so overarching that critics labelled it “the alternative government”.
This column is not enough to put in a proper perspective the job General Buhari undertook and did while in PTF but it suffices through this glimpse to understand the mindset and the strategy of this maelstrom which the ruling elite hate for his forthrightness - a quality in short supply in governance today.
One can cite the number of roads and hospitals rehabilitated by the PTF. One can also quote the billions it spent. The essence of the PTF, however, lies more in the multiplier effect its intervention had on the economy as a whole than in the number of what it did, which on its own was equally impressive. This distinction is what differentiates growth from development. While the former is quantitative, the latter is qualitative. As a political economist, I know that the economic development of any third world country lies in qualitative transformation.
Before the coming of PTF, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida had introduced the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) which he had claimed had no alternative.  The revered economist, Professor Sam Aluko, had also reminded him that economics was a science of alternatives; that even death had an alternative which was life and that SAP was a kiss of death. IBB was to acknowledge the failure of SAP when out of frustration around 1991, he exclaimed that “the Nigerian economy had defied all known economic theories and was surprised that the economy had not collapsed”.
 The economy did not collapse. The PTF intervention ensured it did not. This was the lesson OBJ failed to grasp when he dissolved the Fund with executive fiat in 1999. As at 1997, funds available to the PTF was about N115 billion and Nigerians could point at projects the fund was expended on. A decade after PTF, the governments from OBJ’s to date had spent much more than that in the power sector alone and have not been able to generate even a megawatt more of electricity.
Managing public funds is serious business. General Muhammadu Buhari was fond of telling contractors on visit to sites: “If you perform well, you get a handshake. If you perform badly, you get a handcuff”. This is the mantra we need at this historical juncture. The man that incarnates this mantra out of the available presidential candidates is General Muhammadu Buhari.
There is also a lesson to be learnt from the day Buhari left PTF. Obasanjo, on assumption of office, announced the setting up of the interim management committee led by Mallam Haroun Adamu to wind down PTF. The following day, Buhari addressed a press conference and invited the new management to immediately take over. He told Nigerians that everything the new management needed was in the records to which they would have unhindered access. He bid his staff farewell, descended the stairs, literally jumped into his four wheel drive that took him home to Daura. He never stepped into that premises again to this day. And he never fled the country to escape the EFCC.
The likes of Obasanjo should go back to the military academy to understand “The Art of War” before going on another offensive.

Islam / A "tourist" reads the Koran!!!
« on: January 16, 2011, 06:39:50 AM »
An Idea that worth spreading!!!
Lesley Hazleton: A "tourist" reads the Koran

Islam / The Position of Jerusalem to Muslims, Christians and the Jews!!!
« on: January 16, 2011, 06:38:35 AM »
           Assalamu-Alaikum and Greetings !!!
          Jerusalem has been at the heart of the conflict that has involved Christians, Muslims and Jews for centuries. The post below provides some facts about the underlying beliefs that make Jerusalem sacred for all the three religions. These facts are extracted from the e-book called "Jerusalem is Ours"
Click on the links below: Islamic, Christianity, and Judaism Beliefs for Jerusalem!
"Jerusalem is OURs" - The Centuries Old Christian, Islamic, and Jewish struggle for the "Holy Lands".

Islam / Obedience to the Lord is not achieved except…!!!
« on: January 16, 2011, 06:29:41 AM »
          When Abubakar (radihallahu 'anhu) sent Anas bn Malik (radihallahu 'anhu) to Yemen to invite its inhabitants to volunteer fight the Jihad against the Romans in Ash-Sham, the people of Yemen responded positively to the call. As was reported, Anas later said " Every person to whom I read the letter, and who heard what I had to say, responded positively, saying (for instance), 'We will come...' This continued until we reached a man named Dhil-Kilaa'. When I read the letter to him and said what I had to say, he summoned for his horse and weapons, and forthwith stood up among his people (and made preparations for the war). He did not delay in the least; he immediately ordered for a camp to be raised, and we did not leave him until he and a great many of the Yemen made a camp (ready to march towards Ash-Sham). And he stood up among his people, and one of the things he said was, 'Verily, your righteous brothers have invited you to wage war against the polytheists and, in the process, to gain great rewards (from Allah). So whoever wants to go out and fight, let him go out with me this very hour.'" What a sacrifice - Allahu akbar- but what comes next is even astonishing!
          On his arrival in al-Madeenah, Dhil-Kilaa' saw that Abu Bakr "was an old, skinny man" wearing a garment made of rough material while he was accompanied by "a thousand slaves" and full of adornments. He was astonished by the simplicity and humbleness of his leader, and of course the leader of a victorious nation, so he instantly removed the ornaments he wore to epitomise Abubakar's simplicity. Shortly afterwards, Dhil-Kilaa was seen in the market wearing a cloth made of sheepskin; his people exclaimed "You have exposed and humiliated us in front of the Muhaajiroon and the Ansaar!" In other words, he has belittled their worth; in his wisdom, he replied - and here is the reflection - them as follow: "So do you want me to be a tyrant in Islam just as I was a tyrant during the pre-Islamic days of ignorance? No, By Allah, obedience to the Lord is not achieved except through humbleness and a concerted effort to take very little from this world."
Source: The Biography of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq by Dr 'Ali As-Sallaabee
Islamic CEntre for Education, Research and Awareness (ICEERA)
"Verily, those who give Sadaqât (i.e. Zakât and alms), men and women, and lend Allâh a goodly loan, it shall be increased manifold (to their credit), and theirs shall be an honourable good reward (i.e. Paradise )". Q.57:18.

Islam / Converting to Islam - the white Britons becoming Muslims!!!
« on: January 05, 2011, 07:07:33 AM »
          As 22-year-old Aisha Uddin recites Surah Al-Fatiha - the first chapter of the Holy Qur’aan - at home with close a friend, Sameeah Karim, she may have stumbled over one word but otherwise, the text is perfectly recounted.

           Just to this and enjoy the reading:

Islam / It is true, that is how Muslims are today!!!
« on: January 05, 2011, 07:04:46 AM »
Fajar is spent in sleep.
Zuhr n college or at job.
Asr in relaxing.
Maghrib busy doing stuff.
Ishaa watching TV..
Jumaah salaat is only 2 rakaat, that too engrossed in worldly thoughts..
If anyone prays tahajjud, that is considered astonishing!

Remember that:
The first question asked in the grave will be concerning namaaz.
It is a request to everyone to invite others for namaaz. Insha-Allah, you will
be rewarded for this!

There are 8 doors of Jannat:
1. Jannat-ul-mava
2. Dar-ul-maqaam
3. Dar-ul-salaam
4. Dar-ul-khuld
5. Jannat-ul-adaan
6. Jannat-ul-naim
7. Jannat-ul-kasif
8. Jannat-ul-firdaus

May your name be called, on the day of Jama’at, from all the doors...Ameen!

Rasul Mohammad ( S.A.W.) has proclaimed: “The person who is always in a state of wazoo, Allah Will Increase his livelihood"

”The person who doesn't reveal his needs to others, his needs are soon fulfilled”

To propagate a good thing is Sadqat Jaaria.. So please don't let it stop here, forward it to all your friends and relatives...Jazakal-Allah

May Allah Fulfill the legitimate wishes of the person who sends this message to all....Ameen!


From News Sources / British Banks Complicit In Nigerian Corruption!!!
« on: December 29, 2010, 07:15:01 AM »
          British high street banks have accepted millions of pounds in deposits from corrupt Nigerian politicians, raising serious questions about their commitment to tackling financial crime, warned Global Witness in a report published today. By taking money from corrupt Nigerian governors between 1999 and 2005, Barclays, NatWest, RBS, HSBC and UBS helped to fuel corruption and entrench poverty in Nigeria.

General Board / Bring Them Up the Right Way with LOVE!!!
« on: December 16, 2010, 08:58:35 AM »
      One young academician went to apply for a managerial position in a big company.

He passed the first interview. The director did the last interview, and made the last decision.

The director discovered from the CV that the youth's academic achievements were excellent all the way, from secondary school up to the postgraduate.

The director asked: "Did you obtain any scholarships in school?"
The youth: "no".

The director: “Was it your father who paid for your school fees?”
The youth: “My father passed away when I was one year old, it was my mother who paid”.

The director: “Where did your mother work?”
The youth: “My mother worked as clothes’ cleaner”.
The director requested the youth to show his hands. The youth showed hands that were smooth and perfect.

The director: “Have you ever helped your mother wash the clothes before?”
The youth: “Never, my mother always wanted me to study and read more books. Furthermore, my mother can wash clothes faster than me”.

The director: “I have a request. When you go back today, go and clean your mother's hands, and then see me tomorrow morning”.

The youth felt that his chance of landing the job was high. When he went back, he happily requested his mother to let him clean her hands. His mother felt strange, happy but with mixed feelings, she showed her hands to the kid.

The youth cleaned his mother's hands slowly. His tear fell as he did that. It was the first time he noticed that his mother's hands were so wrinkled, and there were so many bruises in her hands. Some bruises were so painful that his mother shivered when they were cleaned with water.

This was the first time the youth realized that it was this pair of hands that washed the clothes everyday to enable him to pay the school fee. The bruises in the mother's hands were the price that the mother had to pay for his graduation, academic excellence and his future.

After cleaning his mother hands, the youth quietly washed all the remaining clothes for her.

That night, mother and son talked for a very long time.

Next morning, the youth went to the director's office.

The Director noticed the tears in the youth's eyes, asked: “Can you tell me what you did and learnt yesterday in your house?"

The youth:  " I cleaned my mother's hands, and also finished cleaning all the remaining clothes”

The Director: “please tell me your feelings."

The youth: Number 1, I know now what is appreciation. Without my mother, there would not the successful me today. Number 2, by working together and helping my mother, only I now realize how difficult and tough it is to get something done. Number 3, I have come to appreciate the importance and value of family relationship.

The director: «This is what I am looking for in my manager”. I want to recruit a person who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the sufferings of others to get things done, and a person who would not put money as his only goal in life. You are hired.

Later on, this young person worked very hard, and received the respect of his subordinates. Every employee worked diligently and as a team. The company's performance improved tremendously.

Achild, who is being protected and habitually given whatever he wants, would develop "entitlement mentality" and would always put himself first. He would be ignorant of his parent's efforts. When he starts work, he assumes that every person must listen to him, and when he becomes a manager, he would never know the sufferings of his employees and would always blame others. For this kind of people, who may be good academically, may be successful for a while, but eventually would not feel sense of achievement. He will grumble and be full of hatred and fight for more. If we are this kind of protective parents, are we really showing love or are we destroying the kid instead ?

You can let your kid live in a big house, eat a good meal, learn piano, watch a big screen TV. But when you are cutting grass, please let them experience it. After a meal, let them wash their plates and bowls together with their brothers and sisters. It is not because you do not have money to hire a maid, but it is because you want to love them in a right way. You want them to understand, no matter how rich their parents are, one day their hair will grow gray, same as the mother of that young person. The most important thing is your kid learns how to appreciate the effort and experience the difficulty and learns the ability to work with others to get things done.

From News Sources / Waw, what a 'Nastalgia'!!!
« on: December 14, 2010, 12:03:04 PM »
                     Time magazine article from 1965 (45 years ago)!!!

    Those were the good old days, when the wealthy in Nigeria actually contributed to the growth and overall prosperity of the society. The Society looked up to these people then because the source of their wealth was clear to all and sundry.
    Forty-five years later, looting of the public treasury at the expense of Nigerians, is the primary source of wealth for the "New Rich". Instead of at least showing a little patriotism, and not even  following suit, people are now conferring themselves titles of first republic almost totalitarians.
    I wish, like my friend in the UK, that sent me this article, we could all see the difference with what obtains today. Many, nay, most of our rich are just both endo- and exogenic parasites on Government pause and patronage. Woe be on to them!!!

Just click here and enjoy reading the interesting article!

From News Sources / Re: "Every Northerner = Hausa"
« on: December 10, 2010, 09:35:36 AM »
If Every Northerner = Hausa, can anyone please tell me the linear coefficient of correlation I must use, to qualify a BABURMAN ≠ Hausa?

1:53, Friday 10 December 2010

          LONDON, Dec 9 (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Pfizer (PFIZERSL.BO - news) hired investigators to find evidence of corruption against the Nigerian attorney general to convince him to drop legal action against the company over a drug trial involving children, the Guardian newspaper reported, citing U.S. diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks.
          Nigeria's Kano state sued the world's largest drugmaker in May 2007 for $2 billion in damages over testing of the meningitis drug Trovan, which state authorities said killed 11 children and left dozens disabled. [ID:nN29144086]
          Pfizer and Kano's state government signed a $75 million settlement on July 30.
Reuters was not able to verify the content of the leaked cables, and Pfizer officials were not immediately available for comment.
          The Guardian reported on its website on Thursday that a memo leaked by WikiLeaks referenced a meeting between Pfizer's country manager Enrico Liggeri and U.S. officials suggesting that the drug company did not want to pay to settle two cases brought by Nigeria's federal government. The Guardian linked to the cables on its website,
          "According to Liggeri, Pfizer had hired investigators to uncover corruption links to federal attorney general Michael Aondoakaa to expose him and put pressure on him to drop the federal cases," according to an April 2009 cable from Economic Counselor Robert Tansey of the U.S. embassy in Abuja, cited in the Guardian report. "He said Pfizer's investigators were passing this information to local media."
Aondoakaa was removed from the position of justice minister in February this year by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
          "A series of damaging articles detailing Aondoakaa's 'alleged' corruption ties were published in February and March," the cable said.
          "Liggeri contended that Pfizer had much more damaging information on Aondoakaa and that Aondoakaa's cronies were pressuring him to drop the suit for fear of further negative articles," it said.
In 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Trovan for use by adults only. After reports of liver failure, its use in the United States was restricted to adult emergency care. The European Union banned its use in 1999.

Health Matters / Re: Scientists invent first male contraceptive pill
« on: November 28, 2010, 07:04:57 AM »
        Kai Mallam Babarbare, although the idea has theoretically been existing for a long time, yes, only now the oral contraceptive pill for men is in the chemists.
        I would like to, nevertheless, say that, a valeological way of living, is better than any oral pill to this effect. This is because a person that lives a valeological mode of life, would always find out about his partner's menstrual timetable; by making good use of it............. put your partner in a family way, and as much as you can, and she will never be............................. !!!

History / Re: EL-DUNIYA
« on: November 28, 2010, 06:50:31 AM »
Exactly, in 1951, the year my late senior brother, late Sabo Garba Fagge, was born, and in which many people died, with Alhaji Haruna Kassim's first son inclussive!!!

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