By Ama Chukwugoziem (Abia writers)
Edited by Livingrich Ezeikpe
Why do we study history? We study history to recollect past events. Without history, the existence of man has no meaning, which is why Bob Marley says, “If you know your history then you will know where you come from”. This article will take us through the memory lane how the General Muhammadu Buhari chaired Petroleum trust fund (PTF) was ran.

It is known that Brigadier Sani Abacha announced the military coup d'etat that toppled the democratically elected government of President Shehu Shagari. Buhari became the fulcrum of that history as Nigeria's head of state. On August 27, 1985, another military coup d'etat overthrew Buhari and Ibrahim Babangida became the military head of state. Buhari was clamped down into the dungeon for some months. After eight dangerous years of the Babangida military junta, he was forced to leave the throne, Chief Shonekan, a successful private sector entrepreneur was called in to take the baton of leadership.

In 1994 Sani Abacha who had been eyeing the coveted prize greedily grabbed it. He set up the Petroleum trust fund (PTF) as an intervention development agency to bring succour to the people, especially in the rural areas. As an appeasement measure, he appointed Mohammadu Buhari as the executive chairman of the fund (1994-1999) the question is; why did Abacha appoint Buhari as the executive chairman of PTF? Was it as atonement for the sin of standing by while he was overthrown by Babangida boys or how close General Sani Abacha (late) was to major general Mohammadu Buhari (rtd)?

The PTF was established to intervene in such areas as roads rehabilitation, supply educational materials, health, food supply, maintenance of some federal roads etc. Afri-project consortium, led by Salihijo Ahmad was appointed the sole manager of PTF projects. This consortium oversees the procedure for the selection and appointment of contractors, consultants and suppliers (Newswatch magazine in its interview publication April 19, 1999). The Afri-project Consortium acting as the sole management consultant to PTF has 620 consulting firms reporting to it. Most Nigerians had no idea how Buhari ran the PTF. On his assumption of office as the head of state in 1999, President Olusegun Obasanjo set up an interim Management committee headed by Dr. Haroun Adamu to investigate the various aspects of the PTF management. The findings were so damning. Here are some of the findings of the IMC reports.

I) 144.45 billion Naira had been given to PTF by the Federal Government during its lifetime.
ii) A residential estate was to be built in Wuse, Abuja for 703 million Naira, but the technical consultants hired by the investigating IMC put the realistic valuation at about 328 million Naira.
iii) Again, between July 1994 and July 1999, about 25 billion Naira was either stolen or improperly expended;
iv) Expired HIV/AID drugs and kits worth 28 billion Naira was supplied to several hospitals. This was confirmed by the Nigeria Guide of medical Directors who’s Secretary Mr. Rowland Ogbonna, asked the Federal Government to withdraw all the drugs immediately from all the hospitals in the country. Furthermore, many projects were abandoned; the sum of 500 million Naira that PTF deposited in the bank disappeared. The bank agreed to pay the money after president Obasanjo read the riot act to the bank officials. During the period in question, IMC discovered that there were no contract documents, drawing or specifications relating to projects. One thing astonishing here is that on the day Mr. Ahmad asked the IMC to come and collect some documents, he collapsed and died.

Contracts were awarded by APC with varying price without any reference to the PTF.
The southern States had 4,440.43 kilometres of roads rehabilitated (24percent) while the States in the north had 13,970 kilometres of roads rehabilitated (76percent). National Health and educational programme (NHERP), South had (0) percent while the north got 100%. Judging from these and other projects presumed to be executed by the PTF one is not left in doubt and will acknowledge the gross imbalance.

From the findings, there was massive fraud, fraudulently masquerading as achievements. Some time ago, Buhari's made boastful remarks about his achievements while he was the executive chairman of the PTF. He had an inkling of huge corruption under his feet. We can be well convinced on reading the cover story titled "How Buhari ran PTF” published by the News watch magazine of its March 13, 2000 issue, you will see the thorough investigation into the mammoth fraud as discovered.

No matter how hard Buhari tries, No matter what he thinks of the despicable, despotic Abacha, no matter why he thinks the man was a saint, he will never succeed in deceiving the world.
Biafra restoration is our last hope.

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