Bashir Abdullahi's Blog

Archive for December 2009

RIP Maryam Babangida

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The social Networking sites are increasingly becoming medium of getting breaking news.

Late Maryam Babangida (Courtesry BLF)

I get to know of some important breaking news from them nowadays more than I get from the mainstream media.

I was shocked to read from one of my friends post on Facebook that our amiable former first lady Maryam Babangida has passed away.

I first of all though it to be another myth, as there have been many rumours before about her passing away, but always turned out to be false.

Checking further, I realised that indeed this time around it is the bitter truth.

She died in a hospital in the United states.

Maryam in brief

According to a press statement from the Babangida family, “Maryam passed on early this morning at the age of 61, after a protracted illness.”

“The former chairperson of the Better Life for Rural Women during her husband’s years in office had been hospitalised at University of California Los Angele’s (UCLA) Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Los Angeles, United States.” The statement added.”

“Born on November 1, 1948, she had fairly humble beginnings in her hometown of Asaba where she received part of her early education before moving up North to Queen Amina College, Kaduna for her Secondary education. She went on to graduate as a Secretary at the Federal Training Centre, Kaduna and later obtained a diploma in secretaryship from Laselle University, Chicago, USA as well as a Certificate in Computer Science from the NCR Institute, Lagos.”

“On September 6, 1969, two months before her 21st Birthday, she got married to Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (then a Major). Their marriage has been blessed with four children: 2 boys, Mohammed and Aminu and two girls, Aisha and Halima.”

In a radio profile of her I compiled for the BBC Hausa, I wrote that Maryam was the first First Lady that nurtured and developed the office of First Lady in Nigeria.

She brought glamour and relevance to the office. A style icon and champion of women especially those in the rural area.

Rest in peace Maryam.


Written by danmakaranta

December 27, 2009 at 1:45 am

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Boxing Day Fiesta

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This is not the first time I am London on Boxing day, but have never participated in the popular Boxing day shopping spree.  However, I participated in this year’s ‘fiesta’.

I used to watch on television how some shoppers set out early to the shops on the day, joining a stampede in their quest to be the first to grab the ‘devalued’ products at shops making sales on the day.

Some even end up bruised or with cuts from broken door glasses usually shattered in the rush.

While others spend long time on queue to gain entrance to a particular shop having sale.

I don’t belong to the early birds to shops, as I left my abode about 3 pm on boxing day to go and browse through the collections in some high street shops especially those at the popular Oxford street.

I didn’t have a particular product in mind apart from an external hard drive I would like to procure to support my already full drive and memory sticks.

If you can’t beat them…

So I joined other shoppers ‘browsing’ from shop to shop looking for cheap bargain.

I was criss crossing the shops wondering about the sheer number of people hunting for cheap products.

Then I thought about the retailers, why not reduce the prices of their products all year long if at all they can afford to lower the prices on boxing day.

Can someone with some elementary knowledge of how the high street retail educate me on why this is so?

At the end of the day I retired  back home with a big cold protective jacket, unfortunately it wasn’t part of the products on the sale fiesta.

As for the Hard Disk, I think I will be more comfortable getting it online as I couldn’t endure the walk and the walk between the crowd.

Written by danmakaranta

December 26, 2009 at 9:08 am

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Snow at last!

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Snow in London

Snow as witnessed from my window

 First thing I normally do when I wake up everyday is to peep out through my window to see how the weather looks like. 

I did the same today.

Alas! Snowflakes are descending from sky.  

I then logged on to my computer, and there  you are, tweets,  facebook status updates all heralding the arrival of snow in the capital.  

Then on to news, all over the talk is about snow fall.  

Then the prediction about whether there will be white or ‘black’ Christmas, with some gamblers already betting on having white Christmas.  

Am however amazed at the euphoria that greeted today’s snow fall and the talks about having white Christmas.

Can someone tell me what is so special about witnessing ‘White Christmas’?  


Written by danmakaranta

December 16, 2009 at 3:01 pm

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What is wrong with Metropolitan line?

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Can someone tell me why Metropolitan line almost always have problem during the weekend? For those who don’t know, Metropolitan line is part of the underground tube run by the Tranport for London under the oversight function of the Mayor of London.

The line according to informations I gathered was the first underground railway in the world.

However, the line which is said to the fastest train on the London underground network could now be said to be a ghost of its former self.

Almost every weekend, it is either the Aldgate to Baker street arm of it is closed or the entire line is close.

From my interaction with some travelers who have been flighting the way for the past many years, I was made to understand that the line has been having such a problem for a long time.

As long as this problem is not brought under control, I think those of us whose fate lies in using the train for gaining access to Central London especially during Weekend will have to stuck with the problem for some other time to come.

Written by danmakaranta

December 9, 2009 at 11:56 pm

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Skating 101

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Have you ever been on the ice rink? If not then you are really missing something.

Me and the Birthday Girl on the Ice Rink

Finding myself on the ice rink for the first time created a feeling in me that can only be described by someone who’ve been there.

If you want to know how it feels, then try going on the ice.

But before you go, here are some facts you need to know:

Ice skating according to Wikipedia is “moving on ice by use of ice skates.

It can be done for a variety of reasons, including leisure, traveling, and various sports.

Ice skating occurs both on specially prepared indoor and outdoor tracks, as well as on naturally occurring bodies of frozen water such as lakes and rivers.”

First Day at Rink

I’ve been planning to go skating long ago, but my dream was fulfilled when a friend and colleague celebrates her birthday and invited me over to go skating at Somerset House.

I was anxious and nervous at the same time, as I was afraid of falling on the ice.

The first time we were ushered to the rink I almost fell off, but for the timely intervention of one of the ice marshals who held my hand and coached me on skating 101, the tricks, dos and don’t s of ice rink.

There and then I realised my mistake of not doing a proper home work before I went to the ice.

My advice for you is if you want to go skating, then learn a bit about what it involves.

First steps

Here are some tips from Wikipedia:

  • Ice skating works because the metal blade at the bottom of the skate shoe can glide with very little friction over the surface of the ice.
  • Slightly leaning the blade over and digging one of its edges into the ice (“rock over and bite”) gives skaters the ability to increase friction and control their movement at will.
  • Choosing to move along curved paths while leaning their bodies radially and flexing their knees, skaters can use gravity to control and increase their momentum.
  • You can also create momentum by pushing the blade against the curved track which it cuts into the ice. Skillfully combining these two actions of leaning and pushing— a technique known as “drawing”— results in what looks like effortless and graceful curvilinear flow across the ice.


Despite the fun and euphoria that comes with the exercise, there are also some dangers associated with it.

I will first of all warn you that you should anticipate to fall at least once on your first time at the rink. Don’t ask me whether I did.

Here are a list of inherent dangers of skating according to Wikipedia:

  • The first main danger in ice skating is falling on the ice, which happens on rough, icy surface, the design of the ice skate, and the skill and experience of the skater.
  • While serious injury is rare, a number of (short track) skaters have been paralysed after a fall when they hit the boarding.
  • An additional danger of falling is injury caused by the skater’s own metal blades or those of other skaters.
  • Falling can be fatal if a helmet is not worn to protect against serious head trauma. Accidents are rare but most common with collisions or pairs skating.
  • The second, and more serious, danger is falling through the ice into the freezing water underneath when skating outdoors on a frozen body of water.
  • This can lead to serious injury or death due to shock, hypothermia or drowning.

However, these ‘anticipated’ dangers shouldn’t scare you away from trying out you feet on the ice rink.

I enjoyed my first time skating and hope to go back to the rink soon. Will you join me?

Written by danmakaranta

December 5, 2009 at 11:28 am

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Time waits for nobody

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“Time is like a sword, if you didn’t cut it, it cuts you”  –  Proverb

Time is so precious, it is one of the vital endowment bestowed on man by his creature.

Truly , the importance of time, can’t be measured  with silver or jewel; it can’t be bought with the whole wealth on the earth.

Once the time passes, nothing, nobody, no matter how powerful can bring it back. It is not like audio or videocassette that you can rewind.

Despite the significance of time, most people are not serious with it, they take it for granted, not knowing that any breath they take in or out reduces their life span and thus draw them nearer to their graves.

Whoever you are, in whatever endeavour you dwell, you have to respect time, because it waits for no body.

Time Is Sword

Time is like a sword, if you don’t know how to hold it, it cuts you, and if you didn’t catch it at the forelock, it will leave you with an un-healing wound.

Time is but a great lesson for those who reason and have the zeal to achieve greater heights in life.

One should not come to this world and go, without leaving a legacy that will make people remember him after he passes away.

We should note that, the beating of our heart signifies to us that life is like seconds and minutes, the moment they passes, you can’t bring or regain them back.

It is so precious that, you can’t buy it with the whole wealth in the world.

Why Waste Time

If time has all these and more significance, why should we waste it playing, discussing, chatting and performing unnecessary things, arguing about things that doesn’t necessarily affect us, or waste it on rubbish or valueless events.

We should therefore do the right things at the right time.

We shouldn’t waste time or think that we have spare time without doing something beneficial.

Seconds and minutes passed on, days and weeks come and go, months and years passes and never return and we will one day be landed in our grave and that is the end of everything.

We should start to plan for that period of time right from now.

We shouldn’t leave the work of today till tomorrow.

We should utilise our strength for our weakness and our youth before old age.

If we respect time, we will definitely excel in life.

Written by danmakaranta

December 2, 2009 at 5:01 am

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