The Psychological Terrorism Of The ‘Pen, Suits And Microphones’

On Friday, 22nd of September 2017, I received a call from a close family member who told me he had applied for a job online, then the job poster invited him for an entrance examination, and after passing the exam, he got an sms announcing to him he had been shortlisted for the next stage.

He was told to come to somewhere at Ajao Estate before 9am the following day to advance with his recruitment process?es.

When he go there, he met some other applicants, they were told to enter a hall equipped with a projector screen and audio visual devices. The next thing they saw on the screen was a pastor preaching to all the applicants.

He was amazingly awed in an unprecedented state of unbearable confusions, he had spent two thousand naira for transport on the job’s selection process since the begining already.

He sprang on his feet to leave as he could not stand the day light robbery of his religious integrity with the delusions. Someone approached him why he had to leave, he replied that he was not there for what was being displayed on the screen and besides,  it was friday, he had to go to Mosque.

This is what many Nigerian Muslims have to deal with everyday. The horrendous atmosphere non Muslim extremists are subjecting the Muslims to because of employment is worrisome.

This is even complicated now because CAN, the ‘umbrella’ body of the Nigerian Christians has continuously branded Muslims as a simulacrum of terrorism, who need to be coerced to ‘born again’ through many delusional means like we have seen above before its due integrity can be respected and restored.

The hate speeches of CAN against the Muslims, which are now being manifested in the psychology of some Christian extremists need to be put to stop.

Muslims are not competing with Christians, Muslims are busy educating themselves to fix the mayhem of the vestigial traces of misinformation and misrepresentation they have been facing over the years. Muslims are improving their lives to contribute to the National progress  and cleaning the filth the Christian Western Imperialists have
forced on  its enthralling identities.

The CAN website for example is replete with more anti Muslim, anti North and anti Islamic content to continuously incite people against the Muslims and  thwart the integrity of Muslims, than the genuine education and the message of Jesus ( peace be upon him) it needs to give its followers.

CAN has not relented in branding the Muslims and the unmatched values of Islamic religion as evils. This is the main reason many of the Christian extremists and CAN itself treat Muslims in a manner that is abhorrent to the true message of Jesus( Peace be upon him).

We have continuously called the attention of the Nigerian government to this. The indoctrination of the extremism exuded by IPOB targeting Muslims and Northerners recently can easily be gotten from CAN’s anti Muslim and anti Northerners contents on its website and their various divisive press statements on the national dailies.

We only hope it won’t be too late before the government puts a stop to the terrorism of the ‘suits and microphones’ clouded with a delusional religious activism.

This is becoming unbearable, unacceptable and retrogressive to the integrity of our religious sovereignty.

Yusuf Jimoh Aweda
Director, Center For Human Rectitude.

Fayose: The Goat, The Crops And The Farmer, By Eniola Opeyemi

Nigeria is one of the many African countries who gained its independence from the British Colonials, the matrimony of various tribes with different languages appears questionable, some see Nigeria as a country that has been governed more by the northerners, others see it as a country whose resources is enjoyed most by a particular political party, while some ideologists see the military reign as the major set back, but on many occasions, we failed to think as Nigerians with common goal.
Politics of bitterness has eaten deep into our system that we no longer think straight again, propaganda makes the headlines and even the media is controlled by the custodians of the money bags. It’s necessary to take a brief of our beginning before looking into the next destination, not only the federal government is faced by the poor attitude of governance, the poverty playing type of politics has escalated at the states and local governments level.
Ekiti state seems to be a major area of concentration in this write up, considering the insensitivity in government and the spate of irregular style of Governance played between the era of the former governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and the Present Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose. The difference between the two governors and their style of politics is like that of a thorough breed graduate and an half baked student turn graduate, hooliganism shouldn’t be a style of government to be endorsed in Nigeria style of Government especially at this present period of having eighteen years uninterrupted democracy, every student within this democracy period should have been a graduate with credibility.
I have studied governance across the world, it’s only in Nigeria that we see oppositions play politics of destruction that is not worthy of a model in the country’s political institution.
Recently, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state  has claimed credit for students in the state having the best results in NECO this year, after the second coming of the governor, he has spent less than four year in governance, can you teach and prepare a child without any foundation in Education to credibly sit and pass SSCE within four years? I am not a defender of the former governments in Ekiti state, yet, as a trained teacher, if i fail to speak up against the politicization of education, we may end up in a dance of shame.
My experience with students and their educational qualification shows the most of them do not fit in to the result they present, either in the labour market or in furtherance of their education, the rampaging tit -for-tat that plays in academic examinations have to be checked if we must get the quality of our institutions. This doesn’t mean that Ekiti students doesn’t worth to be the best in the just concluded National Examination Council (NECO) examinations, but the politicization have to be checked to prevent politicians from interfering in due processes at the expense of their ambitions.
If at all credit must be claimed, it has to be shared with the immediate past Governor of the state without politics of bitterness, because the teachers that took the pains of maltreatment in the hands of politicians for been deprived of their welfare, yet, teaches the students to meet with the most expensive private schools in town. Don’t be a goat that feeds on others crops  and still claim ownership of the farm, education in Ekiti state shouldn’t be used to score cheap points, because if at all Governor believes in the system, he and his government will have their children in ‘common schools’ across the state.
ENIOLA Opeyemi writes.

Bukola Ogunyemi: Nigeria’s National Carrier Fixation And Lessons From South Africa

From all indications, the Nigerian government is determined in its decision to float a new national airline and have it operational by the end of this year. This milestone appears to have been inspired during the election campaign that ushered in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, who came into office in May 2015 after an unprecedented victory. This zeal to fulfil a major campaign promise and commit scarce funds to a rather capital intensive infrastructural project is in itself admirable, but the energy should undoubtedly be channelled differently.

It’s simple. Nigeria does not need a national airline and cannot afford one. Out of all the points on its historic 2015 manifesto, Nigeria’s ruling party is well aware the National Airline promise ranks least in swinging any of the over 14 million votes that won it the presidency. There is hardly any guarantee the fulfilment of that promise will matter much to the electorates in the 2019 elections.

Floating a national airline should rank least on the economic priorities of a nation that just sneaked out of a recession that spanned five quarters. Nigeria boasts of housing Africa’s largest economy, taking that crown from South Africa after rebasing its GDP four years ago. That status is currently undisputed, but it is from that same South Africa that Nigeria needs to pick lessons on how not to lose the crown.

This 2017 revival won’t be Nigeria’s first fling with a national airline project. Like most relationships, the previous one blossomed in parts and after a painful breakup died a tragic death. Nigeria Airways was founded two years before Nigeria’s independence. It became the country’s national carrier in 1961 after the Nigerian government increased its shares in the company from 51 percent to 100. By 1987 the airline, as a result of corruption and mismanagement had accumulated debts of over $250 million and was suspended by the International Air Transport Association for poor safety compliance.

Nigeria Airways at this time had 500 employees per aircraft in the fleet, twice the international average. 1700 people were laid off in 1985 and another 1000 the following year. In a desperate attempt to keep the airline afloat, 3000 more employees were laid off in December 1988, domestic and international fares raised and flights to a number of destinations discontinued. None of these measures proved effective in turning the fortunes of the airline around.

It, however, took the international embarrassment of having a Nigeria Airways aircraft impounded at Heathrow Airport and an eventual ban by the UK Civil Aviation Authority to convince the Nigerian government to privatise the debt-ridden venture. By the time Nigeria Airways folded up in 2003, it had received a cash injection of $200 million from the Nigeria government and was $528 million in debt.

Still not convinced by the misfortunes of the defunct Nigeria Airways, the government in 2004 staged a revival of the national airline in the form of Virgin Nigeria Airways, as a joint venture with the Virgin Group. This quickly morphed into Air Nigeria after the Virgin Group pulled out of the arrangement. By 2012 Air Nigeria had met its demise. Fast forward to 2017 and the Nigerian government had appointed Lufthansa and five other firms as transaction advisers to kickstart the process of establishing yet another national carrier.

So why is the Buhari administration fixated on an idea that has twice been tested, has twice failed, accumulating humongous debts while costing taxpayers millions of dollars? According to statements issued at different times over the last one year, the government is convinced this new venture, touted as a public-private partnership, has the potential to be Nigeria’s answer to the largest African airline – state-owned Ethiopia Airlines which clocked $175 million in profits in 2015. If records, however, are anything to go by, it could very well be the Siamese twin to the loss-making South African Airways.

Despite running one of Africa’s biggest fleets, state-owned South Africa Airways is yet to post profits for seven consecutive years, managing to stay afloat on bailout funds by the South African government. State-owned regional airline, South African Express, and low-cost carrier, Mango, are not faring any better. These three airlines have recorded a combined R35 billion in operational losses over the last 10 years. Indeed, the fate of South Africa Airways currently hangs on a R10 billion bailout to be able to honour debt obligations by the end of this month.

Thus, South African government’s national carrier business has proved to be nothing but a sinkhole for public funds. Nigeria appears set to thread the same path even while the debts left in the wake of the previous attempts are still hanging on the government’s neck. The unpaid pensions and entitlements of the workers laid off when the Air Nigeria closed shop in 2012 stand at N78 billion today.

Aviation experts and economic analysts are united in the opinion that Nigeria does not need a national airline. Rather this fixation on floating a national carrier just because there used to be one and other countries have theirs, a more productive venture for Mr Buhari’s government would be to institute key reforms in Nigeria’s aviation industry to improve the operational efficiency of the existing players and attract new investments into the sector.

Bukola Ogunyemi, a media executive writes from Lagos.

I Fear For The Future Of Nigeria, By Ushakuma Anenga

“What’s done to children, they will do to society.” – Karl A. Menninger

I woke up this morning marvelling at how effective the government has been against the so-called Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOD). Quickly, they have been characterised as terrorist organisation, proscribed, their headquarters traced to France and members being chased in all nooks and crannies by the Nigeria army in an Operation christened “Python dance”.

Don’t get me wrong, because I’m not speaking in their favour nor supporting any group that threatens the sovereignty of Nigeria but I’m just curious how long before killer-Fulani herdsmen are properly characterised, proscribed, traced and members chased with the same vicious ferocity as in the case of IPOB?

As far back as 2015, the Global Terrorism Index named Fulani militant group operating in Nigeria not just a terrorist group, but the fourth deadliest worldwide with only Boko Haram, ISIS, and Al-Shabab deemed worse. The group has claimed thousands of lives across the country, yet our government continues to romance with them.

One minute, they are called a nuisance and need to leave urgently, another time they are indigenous and should stay, another day they are not Nigerians, another hour they are pastoralist who need government support to settle, next they are discreet hence difficult to trace or chase down. To crown it all, the deadly attacks by these marauders are still termed mere herders-farmers skirmishes or clashes.

These killer herdsmen are being handled with kids gloves while an unarmed organisation that is yet to claim the life of a mosquito is being chased down with urgency. Let me asked like in the Bible (James 3:11), “Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?”…only in Nigeria.

That is why Karl A. Menninger says, “What’s done to children, they will do to society” and same reason why I fear for the future of this country. Children are a product of the society and we, the children of this dysfunctional one are watching keenly, being affected and also learning, and I’m afraid to say may not be any different. God forbid!

What do you expect of the children who were denied employment when the Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello openly declared the Northernisation Policy wherein, irrespective of qualification, consideration for employment was based on “northerner first, expatriates next and then other Nigerians”? How would that have affected their seeing employment as based on simple merit and not any other consideration?

What do you expert of the children who watched as a coup masterminded by mainly Igbo officers completely wiped out the topmost echelon of political and military leadership of northern extraction at that time? What seed was sown in a young military officer named Buhari who would rule the Nigeria twice many years to come, to see the county beyond the divisive dogma of ethnicity and religion?

What do you expect of the children who witnessed their parents being killed in the pogrom of the civil war during which over 3 million innocent people were killed, many by starvation? How would that have affected their ability to be patriotic and think pan-nigerian when given leadership in the future?

What do you expect of children who are products of an almost dead educational system, most especially when children of their political leaders enjoy uninterrupted first-class education abroad in lavish lifestyle? How would that have affected their mentality to see leadership as an opportunity to serve and not to amass wealth?

What do you expect of those who witness as thugs are patronised by politicians, thieves and militants pacified monthly with huge sums while graduates litter the streets without gainful employment or means of livelihood? How does that affect their acceptance of the importance of education going forward?

What do you expect of the children who are told they are the leaders of tomorrow while their parents keep recycling themselves and their cronies in leadership and why do you expect them to act differently when given the opportunity?

I could go on and on… In the case of IPOB and Herdsmen, What do you expect of us to make of the differential referential treatment where the government pampers a killer while disciplining a recalcitrant child?

What’s done to children, they will do to society. Whatever was done to our forefathers by the colonial masters, they meted to the succeeding generation who are also hammering it on us. It is however my prayer that we break this vicious cycle of evil in 2019.

I’ll always end by saying, in making our choices, we must move and look beyond the alphabetical idiosyncrasies of political party politics, the dogma of ethnicity and religion, to the specifics of individual antecedents and characteristics of those aspiring for public office.

So help us, God!

USHAKUMA ANENGA is a Medical Doctor and sociopolitical commentator. He writes from Makurdi, Benue State.

Osun 2018: Attraction Of Distraction, By Abdulrahman Oslad

By the way, why are we not talking about, or X-raying each of the governorship aspirants’ capacities to restructure Osun’s socio-economic fortune, instead of analysing their surface structures and unconsciously helping them to garner the populace’s votes and sit atop our affairs on a platter of gold?

In my estimation, Osun ranks among the states with the highest level of citizens’ participation in social media-based political discussions, which invariably presupposes the level of her people’s consciousness (particularly the youths). Is it not then ironical that anyone can just come on stage in such a state and aspire to lead such a conscious mass, without knowing what his administrative ability is, save for his reputation as a grassroots politician?

Osun is already a beleaguered state. Choosing her next pilot calls for thorough scrutiny of capacity to deliver, not just capacity to deploy resources to garner votes. Anybody with the right resources can garner the right votes. But not anybody can manage even a flourishing state, let alone a state with an already ailing economy like ours.

If we fail this time, it may cause us a regrettable period of eight years of ‘cluelessness’ and deeper economic woes.

Our vigilance should be in the direction of who among the aspirants has or is capable of exhibiting what is required to pull the state out of her current economic pit, and set her feet on the path of irreversible prosperity.

My people, let us begin to query the intellectual capacity of the aspirants and stop focusing on their respective financial capacity to control the crowd. Crowd fetches victory but sound programmes fetch development. Victory without development breeds retrogression.

May Osun not retrogress. The ‘AMEN’ lies in our attitude to the 2018 project.

Abdulrahman Okunade Oslad, a Legal Practitioner writes from Osogbo.

Born To Rule, By Terfa Naswem

The way hate writers misinform the ignoramuses about the Hausa/Fulani oligarchy’s maniac to perpetuate in power, one would be tempted to reason that Hausa/Fulani is someone with a long beard, always chewing cola-nuts.

When talking about ethnic politics, particularly the hate campaign against the Hausa/Fulani’s “born to rule syndrome”, such hate writers forget that every major ethnic group in Nigeria wears the “born to rule toga” among minorities in their mist. For instance, the Tivs are the “born to rule in the eyes of the Idomas and the Igedes; the Igala the same in Koji; the Northern Kaduna to the Southern Kaduna and so on and so forth.

Granting Ojukwu’s Biafra became a reality, the Igbos would have been another “born to rule” in Biafra as no non-Igbo would have stood the chance of becoming the President of Biafra through majority votes.

The fact that there has been inter ethnic wars among various ethnic groups in Nigeria even within the Igbos fighting themselves as has been with Aguleri and Umuleri in Anambra East Local Government Area in Anambra State, and others show that the hate campaign against Hausa/Fulani has gone too far to a fault.

Where politics is a game of number, the majority is bound to have her way. This reality is often ignored by those who hate Hausa/Fulani to a fault. Even if the Hausa/Fulani have been ruling for centuries through the popular votes, it would still be a matter of majority votes. With the 1999 constitution as amended, the “born to rule” cannot do so without first having the majority votes and obtaining 25% of the votes in 2/3 of 36 States. Why do we turn round to castigate the “born to rule” when we (the non-Hausas/Fulanis) are always instruments to crowning him a King? Where were the “born to rule” in the 1993, 1999, 2003 and 2011 presidential elections that were won by Southerners: Chief MKO Abiola; Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (twice); and Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan respectively?

I hold the opinion that it is high time hate writers stopped this needless campaign of hate against the Hausa/Fulani, using a manufactured “born to rule” drug to poison the minds of free thinkers that the North(Hausa/Fulani specifically) wants to perpetuate in power. Yet these very people kick against zoning and rotational leadership which they stand more to again.

To Secede Or Not To Secede, By Aliyu Ahmed

There is an Igbo proverb which says “Agwo emeghi nke o jiri buru agwo, umuaka achiri ya hie nku”- meaning if a snake fails to show its venom, little kids will use it in tying firewood. In this case, the snake is the Nigerian State, the kids are the IPOB members and the firewood is the “Biafra agitation”.

I am neither for secession nor against it. But the manner in which agitators go about achieving is key to its success as well and its failure.

Recent and unfolding events demonstrate an unrealistic dream. And All the fact point at the dramatis personae and the arrow head of this movement are not the sharpest pencils in the box.

I say this with confidence because even within the circle of the Igbo there is questionable loyalty to one another talk less of unity and as such it is vital that the agitators change tactics inorder to salvage what is left in their situation. That they have done clearly from feeds of uncontrolled social media post of which most are true captions, others off track and a handful of concocted clips which are blatant lies.

I have faith in our unity as Nigeria, and confident that things will eventually improve despite the present difficulties of which we are all not isolated from. All that is needed is patience and perseverance.

Another proverb says “Eme ngwa ngwa emeghara odachi”– meaning attending to issues at hand prevents problems from arising. This one is for the Federal government whose complacency is very clear in this issue had for too long folded its arms and watch this nuisance feaster across a portion of its sovereign territory (south east states) and airwaves without taking a decisive action.

Lessons learnt from history, not too long ago should serve as a reminder, that a match stick can set a forest on fire. The boko haram saga is still fresh on the minds of Nigerians, and at its peak, it nearly brought this country to its knees.

Thank God for the voices of supporters and criticizers from all Nigerians from North, West, East and South who vehemently pushed with vigor for this horror to end. This led to freedom of our girls from Chibok, recapturing of territory overrun by insurgents and rallying around neighboring countries to lead a multi-national joint task force whose mission is to contain and eliminate radical elements fomenting this chaos.

Finally, a counsel to Nnamdi Kanu and his followers alike. Stocking the ambers of hate, name calling, provocative insults are primitive ways and will not help you in achieving your objective. Primordial sentiments transferred to your generation by your old and feeble folks is not potent enough to start the chain reaction so desire.

To my fellow Nigerians, show love, strength and faith, refrain from satisfying one man’s ego by reacting to his unpleasant drums of war, rather spread love and compassion not war to every citizen around you. Protect and reassure one another that we have only one nation bound in freedom, we stand for peace and unity nor matter how painful the situation might be, that there is no good war neither is there a bad peace.

Long live the Federal republic of Nigeria.

Aliyu Ahmed

Twitter @airforcemann

The Parable Of The Terrorist, The Zoo Keeper And The Python, By Ephraim Adiele

DISCLAIMER: The story you are about to read is a work of fiction. Any resemblance between the characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is either coincidental, a miracle or probably a figment of your imagination.

Once upon a time, 16 years after the Zoo returned to civil rule, there lived a terrorist named Mazi Kanu and his terror squad, the IPOB. Unlike most terrorists of his time – like Alhaji Shekau who led the Boko Haram sect which ran rampage in North Eastern part of the Zoo, Bin Laden who brazenly attacked Uncle Sam in 2001 and was killed for it years later, Al Baghdadi who ran the show in Syria and Iraq or even the Al Shabaab brothers in East Africa?—?his terror was mostly verbal.

He threatened to destroy the Zoo and lead the Igbo to a prosperous future. To most people East of the Niger, his words were infallible. He had a radio station he had been running for a couple of years from his base in the UK. He spat fire, assuring his hypnotised listeners that the Zoo Keeper will be defeated. He sought to purchase arms to fight the Zoo… some in public places, some in private quarters. To many, the words from the mouth of The Terrorist were law and his cry for war on the Zoo was doctrine. In all this, the Zoo Keeper said nothing.

The Zoo Keeper, a man in the twilight of his earthly sojourn, seemed to be internally bitter and for many reasons: Not only had he just gained control of the Zoo after a long 12-year battle, his camp was getting divided gradually as a result of conflicting interest. Add to this the economy was crumbling with his country heading for recession. Like this was not enough, a new terrorist was in town. He was already battling Shekau and The Avengers but this new terrorist reminded him of something he probably didn’t want to remember.

Years earlier, the Zoo Keeper was part of a bloody war against Kanu’s people in which over 2 million Igbos died. So he determined in his heart to decisively tackle this new terrorist. As fate would have it, the terrorist returned home and within a few hours, he was arrested and kept in custody until further notice.

2 years down the line, the Zoo Keeper had become terribly ill. His deputy, Mr. Osinbade held the reins for a while in his stead and was getting the support of the people. In the meantime, IPOB kept waxing stronger, getting new friends and winning the support of some influential people. The Zoo Keeper returned and after another period of litigation, The Terrorist was from his jail cell with several strict conditions. This seemed to be victory for The Terrorist and IPOB as they became even more daring and outspoken in their optimism of a future free of the Zoo’s grip.

The Terrorist soon forgot the conditions for his release and continued from where he stopped; threatening the unity of the Zoo and constantly insulting the Zoo Keeper, only this time, he removed the drums of war and replaced them with a cry for referendum. He even assembled a Secret Service and started a mini-government of his own.

Soon enough, the Zoo Keeper was back in good health and returned back to the Zoo after spending over 100 days away. His return did not stop The Terrorist as he kept galvanizing his followers towards the day they face-off with the Zoo and the Zoo Keeper. Without wasting much time, the Zoo Keeper swung into action using his favourite pet, the Python!

The Python, merciless and efficient as always swooped on The Terrorist and IPOB, invoking fear across Igboland. The Python danced its way around, striking whatever was in its way… and an uneasy peace was restored in Igboland.

But the last is yet to be heard from The Terrorist. I say this because the same scenario played out in the Middle East when George Bush warned that if Uncle Sam leaves the region prematurely, he will come back to fight an even angrier enemy. His advice was dismissed and the American army left. Only to return years later to fight an even angrier ISIS led by the blood-thirsty Al-Baghdadi.

A little advice for the Zoo Keeper and the Python: listen… listen to anybody and everybody, please:

  • Listen to The Terrorist, for although might be loquacious, vulgar and toeing a disastrous path, he has a mightily large following of people who you should be catering to, not fighting against.
  • Listen to the people… ask them questions because it seems you do not care about their opinion?—?not even after you spent over 100 days outside the Zoo without explanation. Please drop your pride and conduct a referendum. It’s the only way to know the way forward because the people are very tired of this Zoo.
  • Listen because it would be disastrous to feel that you have finally calmed the storm. You might have won a temporary battle, but the Python will not always be in Igboland. It is my prayer that you do not come back to Igboland to fight a bigger, even angrier enemy.


Who Did Nigeria Offend? By Tijani Sheriffdeen

There is no doubt in the fact that every nation has problems peculiar to it, but those of our nation are good enough to entertain pity from people outside the four walls of our country, with words like, you really are from Nigeria? The day that comes without a new problem for Nigeria is only a continuation of the previous day, not a brand new day in the real sense. Our country is yet to successfully cut-off the hands of the villains disturbing the north-east, and the agitations of the people of Biafra with cold torture from Nigerian soldiers is what is now begging for attention.

The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics some days back announced that Nigeria has exited its worst economic recession in more than two decades. It’s however saddening that the cries and wails recession brought didn’t leave with it, as many Nigerians are of the opinion that recession has only left papers not pockets. Nigerians have to wait for something to be done in this regard, as it’s not one of the urgent issues begging for solutions. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is still on strike, not very important at the moment too, it would sort itself, we can be rest assured. When doctors go on strike, it’s an indication of a nation fast moving for irreversible development. It operates everywhere, why do we need to complain?

Amidst all the crises befalling our dear nation, natural disaster couldn’t wait to take its toll. Flooding added to the show, its effects are quite visible to the blind. Thanks to humanitarians and non-governmental organizations that came to the aid of the affected persons. Who did Nigeria offend? There was a time when we were proud to say an average Nigerian lives on a dollar per day, maybe now, we can cover our eyes to say that an average Nigerian lives on less than half a dollar per day. Proving this shouldn’t be a herculean task, because there is no suitable evidence that agrees to this fact better than having people who now burst into people’s homes to steal car batteries. Or maybe this people are just too lazy!

When some people feel causing problem for some others by breaking into their homes to steal isn’t too good, they just result to begging. You now see people without deformities begging, when some people who are disabled work to feed their mouth. You then ask, what type of country is Nigeria? Even a man who is not lettered would chorus the maxim that two wrongs don’t make a right. The country isn’t working out; and people want to survive anyhow too. They have to eat they will say.

As a person, I don’t see anything wrong with asking people for assistance when need be. This some people wouldn’t categorise as begging, as it has a completely different description in our country. Why should a 3 years old boy go around begging? It tells how much a nation wants her young minds to grow. The boy that should be in school learning, is seen wandering about with bowls to beg, and at the end of the day, we want to compare our young minds with those of other nations. In the piece recently authored by the Ovation man, Dele Momodu, titled The Challenges Ahead of Nigerian youths, he charged the youth of slacking out on some opportunities, if those we have now have missed somethings, what do we say about the coming generation? Oh! You want to talk about the youth we have now, they have missed somethings you know, and it looks like they are not all ready to fix things.

Just yesterday, I noticed a building that has been marked to be demolished, because of the on-going expansion of the road in my area, the building marked is a part of the few buildings in a public primary school, St. Paul Primary school. Unfortunately, the building was recently constructed. The best the school owns, ready for demolition. I was then lost in thought, should public institutions suffer bad planning too? And we have those assigned for the task, they just get paid for the whole lot they don’t do.

Tertiary institutions are growing weaker by the day, particularly government owned institutions. Admission processes don’t seize to hold every year, and it comes with neglect of the facilities that would bring about ease for both the students and their teachers. Too many students in theatres, poor laboratories for practical sessions, libraries without books, or with unnecessary and dated materials, poor hostel accommodation, and the list is inexhaustible. I smile when I’m reminded of the fact that these institutions are those expected to produce those who would take this nation to a greater height. I just have a simple question? Who did Nigeria offend?

Tijani Sheriffdeen is an undergraduate student of the University of Ilorin. The founder of Talk It & Act It. Tweets @docshe_42.

Corruption: Will It Tilt The Nation’s Growth Or ill It? By Jimi Bickersteth

A stork on its stilts of a leg staggered as it opened its wings in a treacherous wingding to break its landing on the even surface of the lush plush of the nicely manicured green lawn,in a trace it was go

ne. Meanwhile,the perfidious influence of the fading halo of the evening sun was stealing through the shutters on the parapet where a metal spike had perforated the wall.

This breezes were strong this early evening as I watched the lone stork discreetly, trembling from the cold and the shocking
news I have just received
that some unknown persons have built structures on my parcel of land. I screamed holy Moses! as I dropped the call.
I feel stitched up as I considered the veracity of the news;how on earth will a
tenant to who I leased the parcel of Land in Akowonjo-Agege stealthily steal a march on me, by illegally applying for and getting a “Certificate of Occupancy”;
(“C of O”,for short),in spite of a valid proof and extent legal documents in my favour. Exquisitely painful, isn’t!
A stink bomb!But under my steam, I will resolutely fight this unfair treatment to its logical conclusions. My wife’s voice echoed in my ear.” Calm down- it’s nothing to get steamed up about.” A note of subdued excitement in her voice. I got the subliminal message. Of course, when a water-pipe bursts,the next thing to do is, turn off the stopcock.
I can feel and see trouble in store for people who’ve set much store by material possessions.
There is a storm brewing. However, there is a subconscious thought and feelings in the mind,which one is not fully aware of but which influence one’s actions-memories buried deep in the subconscious. I suppose that, subconsciously, I was reacting against my strict upbringing that often preached calmness-the majesty of calmness. But I am unable to subdue a mounting sense of excitement, of writing on and about corruption in the land.
Now from the ridiculous to the sublime. Corruption in the land has become a serial film that creates an atmosphere of menace. A menace to the society,its environments,and threatening the nation’s ménage. It is a scourge that
has turned our great nation into a house built on stilts at the edge of a lake.
A sad but beaming visage that has bred great incompetence, ineptitude, inefficiency, negligence and all known vices for which the country is an expert. A sad commentary on the part of government officials and politicians on one hand and the stupefying ignorance of the beneficiaries.
I uttered several vigorous but unprintable expletives,at the avaricious look of public service that has bred a whole generation of brilliant
employees and flamboyant
politicians who could not tell a racehorse from a cart-horse, nor see the cracks not only in the structure of the public service but also in the skewed structure of the nation;its get-rich quick
methods and its little Czars slowly crushing it and its political system out of existence.
The leaves glistened wetly in the rain as I stretched forward,found my laptop, talk about this
menace I must. Talk about corruption that has come to characterized our national life, corruption in high places and all over.
A scourge whose influence is all pervasive and often viewed through the warped sense and lens of our today’s debased moral standards.
This menace is ubiquitous, yet no one knew who it is, where it lived or what it looked like as it keeps changing shape and growing; but its small pieces build into larger pieces and the larger pieces complete the charade of a jig-saw,and a puzzle in which all of us at one time or the other benefited, and our nation now have a nice fire on its hands.
Corruption, especially, of people with authority or power willing to act dishonestly in return for personal gain, not following accepted standards,and in some cases, not following laid down rules and or regulations. Behaviours that
despicable and steadily
building in the nation’s cortex a corrupt leisure
Our society is successfully
breeding young people whose morals have been corrupted in an environment whose corrupting influence is so pervasive and widespread; go to our schools today
either for admissions purposes or sitting for an examination, go to public offices for
employment,they are filled with officials who are open to corruption.
The pervasive widespread damage has left the war against corruption and the new sheriff (seen,as a wet
blanket,who spoils other people’s fun  by disapproving of it and refusing to join) zero-tolerance for corruption and the concomitant reforms he’s trying so hard to institute purely cosmetic and ineffective.
Thus,leaving a nation cosseted by ineptitude, weak perceptions and good value judgement owing to the poor reading of the situations,ever wonder why the nation’s anti-graft agencies are blinding the nation with science and not
making one successful conviction,which otherwise would have served as a deterrent to would-be looters and offenders.
The scourge as I have pointed out elsewhere is truly and indeed widespread and runs contrary to the norms and traditions which are the cornerstone of the nation’s civilization. Transparency International noted that “corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gains.” It hurts everyone whose life,livelihood or happiness depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority.
The scourge has triggered a nation whose outlook is bleak, its nets are empty, who’ve tried everything it knows and its people are yearning and sincerely ready to give up. One can’t blame the people. It happens in life; you get to the place where you simply stop expecting anything good.
You’ve experienced too many disappointments and you’re afraid to dream, reach, stretch or broaden your horizons; because you are conjoined and intertwined with a nation and a government battling with recession which left you wrestling with depression and tormenting memories, unemployment, underemployment, addiction, financial failure, stresses, problems at work and at home, times of change;change here I must place in parenthesis is as in change, not as in the ‘APC change’ that has no gold standards.
The concept and blueprints to fight the evils of corruption apparently are in the mind of only Mister president; yes, PMB alone
while the rest of us are merely defined by feelings.The funny thing
about this war and its
execution is that the war commander himself has a starry-eyed notion
about reforming society and a scourge that has remained a complete enigma.
In all ages,well-intentioned people, like PMB,who have tried to establish a more just society and moderating revolution and sociopolitical engineering were constantly foiled by greed and corruption.His lieutenants, the dinosaurs and politicians, and their coterie of advisers are merely acting on their own
preferences,and it appears,
they do not seriously, share PMB’s passion and enthusiasm in fighting the menace. Some of them have amassed possessions,thinking the more they have the safer they are.
The same insecurity that motivated the builders of the “Tower of Babel”. Stockpiling possessions and property,accumulated and stacked until their tower of belongings in Dubai, UK and elsewhere in the world’s tax-havens grew so tall it reached heaven.
Thinking and believing riches bring security. But No! It doesn’t. The more you have, the more you have to lose! Its ironic; the more you accumulate the more protective you become and the greater your concern that it could all be swept away by events you can’t control.
Those that are rich in the present age and who
think it is a soothing syrup on their ergo,better, beware!
The nation’s thieving
‘politricians’ and public officials do not realise that
almost half the world- more than a billion people- lives on less than £2 a day. If your income is more than that, there is every possibility of entering the booby trap set by pride and arrogance.
For analysis sake,do you know that between 1948 and 2001 the US economy endured ten recessions, each averaging one year, and resulting in the lost of billions of dollars. That means every five years or so,the economy drops its suitors and starts all over again.
The moral here is,riches are like Monopoly money, if you’re better than your competitor, you end up with the deeds to the most expensive property. But guess what? At the end of the day when the game is over, as it would sure do, the participants leave the table and all the stuff goes back in the box. Humbling! Isn’t?
Many believed that success can only be measured at the end of one’s life, but that’s not true; one has discovered that success can be measured at different stages in life and that, if the nation is conscious of success at the level where we are today, that consciousness will take us to a higher level of success tomorrow; with a reinvented culture of excellence, the primordial instincts and innate sense of style which were intrinsic features for which our forbears prospered and for which they were widely acknowledged, the fruits of which today, we have left to rotten, while treading the primrose paths.
Today,necessity has laid it upon the PMB administration to reinvent the wheel, but with a template, blueprint and approach that should lead to a pragmatic ideology
who’s content must be included in the nation’s citizenship and civics education curriculum planning, development and implementation. Even as it starts a campaign drive in all the wards in the
federation for the teeming mass of its impressionable youths, a people crushed, who couldn’t make sense of living in a nation stifling their hopes of a “better life”;one where people live for each day’s pleasures.
It is sad,so sad, that the country is breeding a generation plagued-with drug and alcohol abuse, crime and prostitution, heading to jail or grave, worse yet,so many have joined the bandwagon of get-rich quick and by any means possible, with kidnapping for ransom and or ritual killings in tow. The youths should strive to make a case for themselves, nobody will do it,neither will demonstrating the absence of honesty, trust, truth,perseverance
and hardwork.
In the ensuing scenario and
rat-race,it is interestingly becoming unpleasant and difficult for the youths to listen to adults; to the advice of those who are older and experienced, as they now find it more easy to assume that older one’s do not really understand the challenges and problems the young face. I fart!
The nation’s social welfare
development must (i) reinforced its capacity-building and organized workshops, talkshow that is aimed at disabusing the nation from illegitimate ambition, the dastard and brazen acts of killings, stealing and yahooz.
ii)that they shouldn’t be impressed with those who get rich and pile up fame and fortune illegally;that if they managed to escape jail, they can’t take the
fortune with them, fame and fortune all get left behind. It is a truism that when they
think they’ve arrived and people praise them,musicians eulogized
them because they are
perceived to have done well for themselves, they enter the vault where they’ll never see sunshine again.
The nation can resist corruptive influences,however,individual efforts will never completely eliminate or root out corruption, because the causes go deep-far too deep and one’s fear is that corruption is inevitable and will never be completely eliminated, because it has a way of fighting back.
You are all corrupt ,yes!even me! Basically,because,our nation is characterised by craftiness, greed and selfishness. In such an environment, most people find it difficult to be different. Driven by selfish ambition, we become power hungry.
We,all of us,also develop a strong desire for money,more money and possessions-more than we really need,with the devil craftily exploiting our natural desire for material comfort and financial well-being to the point that we act deceitfully because of the irresistible pressure exerted.
Sadly,we are willing to behave in a dishonest way to achieve those goals. Rather than resisting unwholesome influences, we “follow after the crowd for evil ends”. Admittedly, it is not easy to be honest,and I’m being honest here, because of the pressure to meet goals and aspirations; to survive in a competitive world; a world in which most people regard giving and receiving bribes as normal practice.
When you are saddled with heavy financial responsibility, in a permissive environment and with no strong moral value and fibre, it is a challenge to be honest. But our lives will be more
meaningful if it can be reduced from the present height.
Have you ever been a victim of corruption? Perhaps not of the kind I recounted in the opening paragraph, but almost certainly you have suffered the effects of corruption because of its pervasive reality; and no one is immune to the perils of corruption.
To define the future, the nation must decide its fate during this trying times. The PMB’s administration appears to be trying hard to recover the proceeds of graft, one hopes he would not be encumbered by forces which he is unwilling or unable to control in a nation trembling like an Aspen leaf,one that is living a lie and with a body politics in turmoil. One, where,allegedly,public/civil servants stole approximately $9 billion;and another $2billion doled out as political patronage and oil blocs to the bargain. The urge to clear the Augean stable and the urgency to do it should give him the 00mph to keep going, having in mind the conservative feelings of a traumatized people.
Nigerians are placated by the president’s zero-tolerance for corruption and are filled up with expectations that if he can winkle the political will those staggering amount of ill-gotten monies recovered from corrupt officials would be deployed to act as a stimulus to jump start the nation’s ailing economy.#
Jimi Bickersteth is a blogger and a writer.
He can be reached on Twitter

Agricultural Modernization In Kano State, By Salihu Tanko Yakasai

By the middle of this century (year 2050 to be precise), it is predicted that Nigeria, will have an estimated population of between 230 and 430 million people thereby surpassing the United States of America as the third most populated country in the world after China and India.
This population explosion will definitely pose serious challenges to governments at all levels and other stakeholders on how to make these huge human resources into an asset rather than a liability in terms of ensuring a highly educated, well-fed and secured society with a minimal unemployment rate. Unless concrete measures are taken, this demographic development will definitely lead to social dislocation through rural-urban migration, food insecurity, massive joblessness and other unwanted consequences.
In order to check this bleak scenario, the agricultural sector must be given deserved attention and, however seemingly gargantuan this formidable challenge is, the administration of Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, OFR in Kano State since May 29, 2015 has remained undaunted by according the agricultural sector the highest priority it deserves because the sector holds a lot of promises toward ensuring food security, industrialization, revenue/income generation, creation of gainful employment for the teeming able-bodied youth of both sexes, rural development, access to international commodity markets, poverty reduction, etc.
With over 90 million hectares of land of which over 75% is arable and cultivable, Nigeria has the highest ratio of usable agricultural land to total land mass in Africa if not in the whole world and Kano State, being the most populous in the federation, shares in this endowment of fertile land and irrigation infrastructures for all-season farming practice.
Despite these endowments, the agricultural sector in the country is bedevilled by a myriad of problems which include the use of simple and crude tools and implements, constraints of the land tenure system, inadequacy of agricultural education through extension services, lack of finance or credit facilities, problems of pest and diseases, lack of storage and processing facilities resulting in the loss of at least 20 to 40% of the annual harvest, poor transportation, poor marketing, negative attitude of people towards agriculture due to its low reward and boring nature, small and scattered nature of agricultural holdings, food imports that stifle local food production, rural-urban migration of young men and women causing shortage of labour on rural farms and conflicts between sedentary farmers and nomadic pastoralists.
Apart from these, there are natural problems facing the sector including soil erosion caused by water and wind that reduces soil fertility, the unstable and changing rainfall patterns attributable to climate change, desertification, rise of sea level and global warming, among others.
According to the 2008 World Bank Development Report, “In much of Sub-Saharan Africa, agriculture is a strong option for spurring growth, overcoming poverty, and enhancing food security. Agricultural productivity growth is vital for stimulating growth in other parts of the economy.” Realizing this vital role of the sector to the overall socio-economic development of Kano State and in his characteristic far-sightedness, Governor Ganduje initiated many policies and programmes aimed at developing the agricultural sector more especially as an alternative source of income to the oil sector with its vagaries in the international markets.
To evolve a comprehensive policy toward developing the agricultural sector, the present administration set up a 35-man Agricultural Technical Committee headed by His Excellency, the Deputy Governor and Hon. Commissioner of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Hafiz Abubakar, MFR. The committee, composed of highly knowledgeable professionals, experienced academics and experts in various fields, proffered various recommendations to the State Government toward revamping the agricultural sector in the State the implementation of which has since started in earnest.
In order to enhance the capacity of farmers, for example, the State Government employed additional 742 extension workers in order to train farmers in modern farming practices with the aim of increasing crop yields and weaning them from the age-old subsistence farming that is in most cases not productive. Equally, the government resuscitated Kano State Agricultural Supply Company (KASCO) that had been dormant for many years to the extent that the company has been contracted by the federal Government to produce assorted fertilizer for sale to farmers in the country. The sum of N164,942,400:00 was approved for the procurement and installation of a new fertilizer blending machine for the company.
The government also procured 500 units of irrigation pumps for distribution to dry-season farmers at the cost of N45 million, approved N20 million for the purchase of two combined harvesters for allocation to the State Wheat Farmers Association, granted N100 million interest-free loan to the association for the purchase of quality seeds for distribution to its members and gave N16 million assistance to the association to purchase six tractors with implements. This is in addition to the sum of N200 million earmarked for the tractorization programme of the present administration under which tractors are provided to farmers’ associations at subsidized rate.
Other interventions toward assisting farmers in the State include N213,400,000:00 approved for the purchase of 5,000 units of petrol engine water pumps for distribution to Fadama farmers and Water Users’ Association and the grant of N200 million loan to the State Wheat Farmers Association for the 2015/2016 cropping season to enable them to meet the proposed production level of 75,000 hectares and the demand of flour millers.
The State Government also provided fertilizer subsidy to farmers amounting to N2 billion for the production of 50,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer (1,000,000 bags) at the cost of N5,500:00 per bag for sale to farmers at N3,500:00 per bag while the contract for the procurement/supply of tomato seeds and pesticides to support tomato farmers in the State in the sum of N252,304,000:00 was awarded following the outbreak of Tuta Absoluta epidemic in the State.
This government’s intervention in the provision of affordable fertilizer and other farm inputs to farmers has solved the problem of racketeering, profiteering, product diversion and other underhand dealings resulting in lack of product availability, affordability and accessibility.
Also, to ensure the supply of hygienic beef and mutton for safe human consumption, the State Government earmarked the sum of N2 billion in the current fiscal year for the establishment of an ultra-modern Halal abattoir in the State which can also export excess meat for revenue generation for the State.
Training of farmers in and out of the country has also been prioritized. For example, the State Government sponsored 60 pastoralists to undergo training in artificial insemination in Turkey at the cost of N51,777,500:00 and the beneficiaries have since returned home and they are expected to share the knowledge acquired with others.
In order to ensure a healthy livestock for safe human consumption and economic value, the State Government embarks on the annual mass vaccination exercise (CBPP in cattle, PPR in small ruminants and anti-rabies in dogs) which has proved highly beneficial to the State.
The Ganduje administration embarked on the drilling of 1,000 tube wells  under its pet programme Kauda Rani in some Fadama areas (wetlands) across 29 local government areas which gulped the sum of N55.8 million, initiated integrated rural development programme titled Karkara Salamun Alaikum under which hundreds of kilometres of feeder and tarred roads are being constructed gulping billions of Naira in order to open up inaccessible rural areas, hundreds of boreholes either drilled or rehabilitated for the supply of potable water to the rural dwellers, electrification of many towns and villages, among other laudable interventions for the development of the rural agrarian communities in the State.
The present administration has also been according top priority to fighting the menace of desertification and other ecological problems through the annual tree planting campaign, establishment of shelterbelts and rehabilitation of existing ones and execution of erosion control projects toward ensuring sustainable environment for food production and safe human habitation.
So, the government has succeeded in coming up with a comprehensive policy for the development of the agricultural sector through accelerated food production, livestock development for meat, leather and dairy products, natural resources conservation, agricultural pest and disease control, agro-processing and value addition, agricultural programme management information system, skills acquisition training, agricultural productivity and diversification,  mechanization/tractorization, vaccination campaigns, renovation/rehabilitation of veterinary hospitals, micro-credit facilities for small and medium-scale agro-businesses, fisheries and poultry development, procurement of improved seeds and agro-chemicals for distribution to farmers, community warehousing to reduce post-harvest losses, training, collaboration with development partners, irrigation development, among a host of others which have already started bearing fruit.
Indeed, it is evidently clear that the Ganduje administration in Kano State has, in the past two years since its inception, recorded tremendous achievements in the agriculture sector being a catalyst to the overall development of any society.
The State Governor has demonstrated political will and commitment to develop this vital sector in order to put the State on a sound pedestal for overall development thereby rescuing millions of people from abject penury just like many countries in Asia and Latin America have succeeded in doing through agrarian revolution. As a pacesetter for long, the State has again set the pace on the modernization of the agricultural sector for food security, income generation and job creation which has been the preoccupation of His Excellency since assuming the mantle of leadership in 2015.

Buhari’s Trip To New York And The Question Of Change By Aliyu Abdullahi

Often times I hear Nigerian people ask where is the “Change” promised by the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari? They were right to question the promises made by the President before the 2015 elections, afterall, they are the masters, and the President their servant, holding the highest and most exalted office in the Land on trust for the Nigerian People.

This write-up will attempt to answer the question of “Manifested Change” witnessed first hand this evening by the author at the Hotel Millennium UN Plaza in New York when the President arrived. Before the President arrival, we were gathered at the Hotel to welcome the President alongside some embassy officials, I was with couple of friends, former course mates from the Nigerian Defence Academy, with some of our seniors in the Military, stationed in the Nigerian Mission and the United Nations respectively, they were at the hotel since about 7pm when the President flight touched down in New York, and I was in my hotel room somewhere in downtown Manhattan on the 25th street by Broadway to be exact , and another friend, an Embassy employee (Awwal Umar Idris) called me and asked “Aliyu, where are you? We are all gathered here, you are the only one missing”, I responded that I was going to catch the subway from the 28th Street to Grand Central, Awwal said no, you can’t make it in good time, you have to get a cab and hurry up, don’t miss the President arrival,” I quickly switched off the TV and grabbed my jacket and headed out, flagged the first yellow cab I saw, the driver was an Indian, I said hurry up to 44th Street by 2nd Avenue, we zoomed up amidst some traffic jam, meanwhile Awwal kept calling all through the way.

Before reaching my destination right on the 44th Street was another jam of black people, i thought it was the Nigerian crowd that extended there, I alighted from the cab after handing a 10 dollar bill to Mr. Kumar the driver, I headed straight to the crowd only to discover it was another hotel where the Senegalese President was going to stay, there was merriment, singing and I decided to stay and see the arrival of the Senegalese President and his delegation, I was lucky, 2 minutes after, the Presidential delegation came, and I counted over 50 people coming out from a long que of vehicles, I thought the delegation was rather huge for a small country like Senegal and I murmured something like I am sure our President delegation will at the very least double that of the Senegalese President.

After they all entered the hotel, I proceeded to my destination couple of blocks away, there I met my friends to their delight, and other Nigerians who came to have a glimpse of President Muhammadu Buhari, we waited for about 5 minutes, and the President convoy arrived, it was only 4 vehicles, the first car to pull was a saloon car which the the President and his ADC was in, the second car was a black wagon bus and a third car following behind while the 4th were American FBI. The President alighted from the first car, the wagon bus has Femi Adesina, Bayo omoboriwo (the President’s photographer), Abba Sarki (SSA Domestic) with 2 journalists (Adamu Sambo of NTA & Gloria Ume-Uzoke of Channels TV) and their cameramen along side 3 DSS Officers. The third car has the NSA, Major General (Rtd) Babagana Munguno and 2 of his officer, these were all the President arrived with. Of course at the hotel with us already were some Governors and Ministers, I saw Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, Deputy Governor Bala Banter of Kaduna State, there was Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibrin, and the State Minister of Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed.

I was amazed by the small size of the President delegation, I quick remembered some years back precisely in 2013 during former President Goodluck Jonathan Administration when Sahara Reporters had a media war with the then Presidential Spokesperson, Mr. Reuben Abati over the size of the Nigerian delegation which was about 600 people as confirmed by the then Nigeria Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Bashir Wali. This year’s delegation is by fa the lowest of all the member Countries. A friend of mine, part of the Saudi Arabia delegation was with me, and he jokingly asked if Nigeria was still in recession, I responded with ‘no, we are out of recession’, he asked asked again that why then is your delegation so small this year, and I answered him that this is CHANGE as promised by our President Muhammadu Buhari, who is not only modest by life style but intends to cut all Government waste and plug all the loopholes that public officials usually exploit . My exchange with him prompted me to write this piece. If this is not “Change”, then I really do not know what is “CHANGE”.

Aliyu Abdullahi writes from New York.

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