• There is an evil in our land

    23/Apr/2016 // 226 Viewers

     

    There's an evil in our land, And a foe we must withstand, Let us be strong to fight the wrong………..”   Jennie Evelyn Hussey.

    Nigeria has been given over to an evil debased mind and culture.  Evil now rules us and the wickedness that has been sown is reaping a whirlwind of horrifying judgment that is shocking and debilitating the nation.
    Sadly, we deserve what is coming by our individual and collective sins as a people who have abandoned God for self.
    There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed (Luke 8:17), and we are now seeing revealed the depths of viciousness and evil of the Corruption that have assailed the land and eaten deep into our moral fabric.  We’re also seeing the insane lengths to which selfish and greedy politicians and civil servants, and their sycophantic, hypocritical followers will go to sabotage and deride the change that is going on.  We have not seen anything yet; this nation is going to pay dearly for its sins.
    Such is the case of the trial of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and the crisis the Nigerian Senate wants to plunge the whole country into, all predicated on their own selfish, invidious and insidious interests, and with a gross disregard for the sentiments of the people who elected them to make laws and uphold the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
    It is only mischievous, evil-meaning and unpatriotic Nigerians who will see what is going on in the nation’s Senate and the case of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, as a political problem (And you don't have to agree with me on this)
    I contend that this is not about party politics. This is not about APC or PDP or whatever party. This is not about the office of the Senate President; it is about Saraki as an individual Nigerian, who MUST not be, or regard himself, above the laws of the land. It is about a very small but powerful, selfish, greedy, insensitive and corrupt section of the political class perpetrating disrespect to the people, Constitution and government of Nigeria. It is about perpetrating corruption and protecting their own, and their selfish interest. It is about insisting on having their way at the expense of the political and democratic progress of the country. It is about turning democracy on its head and manipulating it.
    Mr Saraki has been on the corruption, fraud and deception carpet for a very long time, but in fairness to him, he’s just like most of our ruling elites for the past 50 years- Corruption begat them! The whiff of corruption and oppression has followed him, undoubtedly from birth. The Societe Generale Bank fraud and collapse with its resulting misery for thousands of depositors; the family stranglehold on Kwara State politics; the alleged looting of the state’s treasury; the Zimbabwean farmers’ fraud and hypocrisy; the betrayal of his father, and his nifty manipulation to become Senate President. It is only in our dear corruption-ridden and ignorant country that such impunity and lawlessness can happen with the authorities, themselves corrupt, not batting an eyelid and coming to the rescue of their own people from such unscrupulous politicians. In saner countries, he would have ended being banned from holding any political office, and to boot, be spending some time in jail.
    Olukayode Nathan further wrote: "What has been barbaric is the attempt by senators to obstruct and prevent the trial of Bukola Saraki; the Senate President is facing very serious allegations before a tribunal set up through an act of the NA to prosecute certain crimes. What is really barbaric is an attempt by a section of the Senate to usurp the powers of the law enforcement bodies to investigate and prosecute crimes. The power of the Senate is vested through the Constitution, to which they are sworn to uphold and never to breach. They are there to make laws and not empowered to investigate or adjudicate. When senators behave like criminals, they must be treated like criminals. The people of Nigeria are the ultimate powers and reserve the rights to use all means available to them to prevent criminal assault on them by criminal legislators. If that means self-help, so be it! The advanced democracies of the world including Britain and the USA have had occasions where the members of the public were made to behead political office holders. To prevent this happening in Nigeria, legislators must respect the laws of the land and respect the people of Nigeria. Buying overpriced expensive vehicles for themselves at this austere time when most Nigerians face horror of hunger is an invitation to anger and chaos”.
    Rotimi Jacobs, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, involved in Saraki’s trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal has this observation in responding to the request by Kanu Agabi, the lead Counsel to the Defence (Saraki), for a long adjournment because "the defendant cannot always come to court everyday" on the excuse that the Senate would sit.
    He said. "The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not the one on trial, the senators are not the ones on trial, the idea of saying the Senate President is on trial is abnormal, the Senate Presidency is not on trial, the only person on trial here is Bukola Saraki, a Senator, the Senate can sit without him; the Senators following him here don't have business here, they should not be here, it is a disgrace that they leave their constitutional duties to follow the defendant here, I think we should never hear anybody saying that the Senate can't sit because an individual is on trial"
    What was said above made a lot of sense. But trust us, we refuse to accept the truth of the matter, and decide to play hide and seek with the Truth, as we always wont to do.
    Unfortunately, the 160+ million people in this country are too timid, too complacent, not ready to leave their comfort (?) zone; divided amongst themselves along ethnic and religious lines, too prone to corruption and other illegal inducement, ignorant, primitive, befuddled, completely disoriented and mis-oriented and are really not ready to fight their own corner, unless God comes down and fight it for them. The whole country seem to have gone INSANE.....money has turned everyone's head upside down, and you have some people defending this evil, in fact promoting it.
    Our concerns remain with the ignorant few amongst us, who will always see this as an ethnic, religious, sectional or political assault on their right to belong to one camp or another. The essence of correcting this political absurdity is to see the Senators' manoeuvre for what it is - sheer display of greed and disrespect to the Constitution and the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
    The Nigerian society is not different from societies elsewhere. Perhaps our tolerance limit is more elastic. And that is because of poor perception and low self-esteem, caused by ignorance, illiteracy and poverty.
    In the past, labour unions, vibrant and mature students and academic bodies, commodity moguls, insightful musicians and artistes etc., represented the largely complacent populace and acted as the motivation to galvanise the people.
    Poverty has a tendency of keeping people grinding at individual personal solutions than turning to collective initiatives. Our unscrupulous politicians use this peculiarity to exploit us.
    The appeal now is to mobilise the people through the press, social media and platforms to refuse the insult and poor treatment from the rulers. And in doing this, we must be helped to recognize our friends, lest we throw away the baby with the bathwater!
    I have always wanted to tag with this knowledge, believing time would bring the much needed and desired CHANGE, only when we are "mobilized" and have matured politically to the point of "being mobilized". But this change in the mind-set of both the rulers and followers seems to be taking forever; sometimes, it seems to be not taking place at all, or regressing. From this view, our mess is almost drowning us; we would need more than human hands for our "salvation"!
    There is a point that cannot be easily over looked. The man from Maiduguri is affected by the same problems that afflict the man from Lagos or Benin. So are the man from Sokoto and the man from Makurdi, or Ikot Ekpene. These basic problems are poverty, illiteracy, diseases, hunger and generally poor standard of living in a country rich in natural resources but whose wealth has been squandered for decades by visionless, greedy and selfish rulers and their hangers-on.
    Primordial considerations do not allow us to see things in their proper perspective. See the people who benefited from the money shared by the Office of the National Security Adviser, and by other scandals – they shared the money without regards to religion or ethnicity. It is all there for us to see and ruminate on. Corruption is the problem in Nigeria, not where you are from or your religion. Not even the political party you belong to or favour.
    Ephesians 6:12 King James Version (KJV): “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”
    Telling the Truth always has set me free!!!

    Akintokunbo Adejumo wrote from London, the United Kingdom.

     

    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any piece we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect our editorial policy. DailyGlobeWatch shall, therefore, not be held responsible for any of its conects or any part thereof.


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  • Buhari, the Army, ethnic and religious militias, By Rotimi Fasan

    23/Dec/2015 // 177 Viewers

     

     


    IT is not a plus for his democratic credentials, that President Muhammadu Buhari has not thought it fit to comment on the issue, weeks after personnel of the Nigeria Police were reported to have killed several members of the so-called Indigenous Peoples of Biafra and scores more were mauled down of followers of the misguided Shiite cleric, Ibrahim El Zakzaky, by soldiers of the Nigerian Army.

    As the Commander-in Chief of the Armed Forces, he is the supreme head of our armed forces and as such cannot look away when members of the forces are accused of serious crime bordering on mass killings of allegedly harmless Nigerians.
    His comments don’t necessarily have to be condemnatory of the action of the concerned soldiers if he does not think they are at fault. But, if otherwise, he thinks the soldiers went beyond the bounds of what can be considered acceptable conduct, his denunciatory comments would go a long way to reassure Nigerians that they are not at the mercy of a lawless military that can act totally with impunity.

    We ought to have moved beyond the level of the ‘unknown soldiers’ such as those involved in the destruction of Fela’s Kalakuta Republic in 1977. Our soldiers are individuals with verifiable names and addresses traceable to whatever military formations they are attached to. In fact, some of the soldiers involved in the encounter with the Shiite were in the escort of Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, who was allegedly pencilled down for assassination for yet undisclosed reasons by members of the religious sect.

    It was in their bid to ensure a safe passage for him after the Shiite allegedly blocked his way to an official engagement, that the soldiers opened fire. This account has, of course, been disputed by the Shiite who claimed the COAS had left well before a detachment of soldiers returned to wreak havoc.

    Whatever were the actual circumstances that led to the bloody showdown, the identities of the soldiers involved are not and cannot be unknown. They could be summoned to account for their action. Which is to say that as far as the IPOB or Shiite killings go, the president’s comments, whether laudatory or condemnatory, would have been better than his present silence. His opponents, rightly or wrongly, would be quick to cite cases such as these as evidence that he still needs to be fully weaned of his military propensities.

    The right of Nigerians to freely express themselves either by being part of demonstrations to assert their right to self determination as IPOB proclaims, or to congregate for religious reasons as with the Shiite, should not be compromised. Yet, Nigerians who must assert their rights in the foregoing manner must also be ready to accord such rights to others and conduct themselves in ways that would not hurt public peace. But this is far more than one can say for either the followers of Nnamdi Kanu or El Zakzaky. Commentaries on the recent encounters of these two groups with the security agencies have not emphasised this point at all.

    The overwhelming impression that is conveyed by many of these commentators is that the unnecessarily provocative and sometimes violent actions of members of the respective ethnic or religious group are just all right and should continue without consequences. Yet both groups have functioned many times outside the bounds of propriety. If IPOB members have confined themselves to peaceful street protests without blockading the Niger Bridge in Onitsha, perhaps their run-in with the police would have ended more happily.

    Forced closure of business places or major highways like the Niger Bridge cannot at all be considered peaceful. When this is coupled with the possibility of miscreant activities among genuine members of this group, there is no way to guarantee a peaceful outcome 100%.

    As for the Shiites, available footage of their encounter with the soldiers shows they might have been asking for what came their way. Parts of this footage show senior military men in close discussions with the Shiites, apparently pleading with them to leave even when some of them could be seen openly brandishing machetes and other types of cudgels. What point were they trying to make confronting these soldiers with such arms?

    Our security and military personnel have not been too famous for their cordiality. They are too full of their own sense of self-importance and engage in unnecessary show of power. They are often a trigger-happy lot, would sooner bawl orders at people and speak with their weapons and horse whips rather than behave civilly. For such unprofessional acts of reckless irresponsibility, we must continue to condemn them and insist that they change. But what we must never allow is to create a situation where our collective security is endangered by our readiness to tolerate the outlaw behaviour of extremist ethnic or religious groups in the misguided belief of championing their rights even when they would not submit to the rules that bind us all.

    The excesses of the El Zakzaky Shiites like such other religious or ethnic groups need to be curtailed for our collective security. A group that seems eager to foment trouble even without provocation and pays no regards to the common rules that binds society is not one that should be allowed free reign. Just over a year ago, El Zakzaky lost a number of his family members in what looked like a case of mindless self-assertion by members of his group.

    This group is known for its disruptive actions- spewing hate language, blocking roads for their activities or sending their members on long pilgrimage-like treks on major highways, and thereby obstructing the smooth flow of traffic.

    They are belligerent and appear permanently poised for violent encounters or the enforcement of their peculiar doctrines. We continue to scream that Nigeria is a secular state but here we are saddled with Boko-haram-like groups springing up around us, determined to impose their strange doctrines on everybody, and we talk glibly about their rights as if the assertion of such rights must imply the denial of the rights of others to choose a different way of life.

    We’ve seen how monies meant for arms purchase were criminally channelled into private pockets; how soldiers were hobbled and sent into battles without arms. We’ve seen Boko haram overrun towns and states after states, and declaring a caliphate even as our military, our only means of protection, were comprehensively trounced. Just eight months ago, we were all helpless wimps at the mercy of religious terrorists. Are we going to look on as similar outcast groups grow into Frankenstein monsters that will later threaten our collective security or insist that they too, like our military, should be subject to collective authority?

     

    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any article we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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  • Soldiers, Shiites’ clashes

    23/Dec/2015 // 162 Viewers

     

     

    The recent Soldiers/Shiites’ clash in Zaria is a worrisome development. It has come at a time when Nigerians are almost heaving a sigh of relief over the deadly Boko Haram attacks that seem to be abating. In fact, these Soldiers/Shiites’ clashes have become a recurring episode in our national life. And whenever they rear their ugly head, it is with some catastrophic consequences, leaving a tale of sorrow, tears and blood in its wake.

    The Shiite group known as the Islamic Movements of Nigeria, IMNL, is led by its fiery leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky. The group came into prominence after the 1979 Iranian Revolution which was led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. That 1979 revolution sent the then American puppet leader of Iran, Shah Reza Palavi, who had ruled the country with iron fist for decades, into oblivion. An Islamic regime was then put in place and Ayatollah Khomeini became the spiritual leader of the country. Since then, the Ayatollah, as the spiritual leader, has become the supreme authority of Iran.

    This spiritual-cum-political arrangement must have been very attractive to the Shiite group in Nigeria who are equally thought to be pursuing the establishment of an Islamic state. Though the Shiite group holds sway in the northern parts of the country, little is known about them in the southern parts of the country. Nevertheless, security agents particularly the Police and operatives of the Department of State Security, DSS, have always focused their binoculars on the group especially its leader, El-Zakzaky. This has inevitably made the sect and the security agencies bitter enemies.

    In July 2014, while on a pro-Palestinian solidarity march in Zaria, Kaduna State, the group clashed with soldiers. The unfortunate encounter led to the death of about 34 members of the sect including three sons of El-Zakzaky. The army later came up with the explanation that the clash occurred when members of the sect attacked some soldiers who were trying to prevent the procession in view of the prevailing delicate security situation occasioned by the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists who had put the North-east of the country under armed insurrection. It took some time for frayed nerves to be calmed but that incident drew the line between the sect and the army. It was like a ticking bomb waiting to explode.

    However, the ticking bomb finally exploded on Friday, December 11. That day, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, was on his way to the Zaria depot of the Nigerian Army to review a parade of the 74 Regular Recruits and also later, to pay a courtesy call on the Emir of Zazzau, when his convoy ran into members of the sect who were on a procession. Attempts by the COAS’ armed convoy to disperse the crowd were said to have been rebuffed. Not even the entreaties of some officers in the convoy who disembarked from their vehicles and approached the sect members would sway the crowd who by then had blocked the road. The COAS convoy was said to have come under attack possibly engineered by some misguided and unruly elements within the crowd. The soldiers in the convoy allegedly responded by firing some shots which led to the death of some people. The crowd was then forced to disperse.

    Since then, the social media and other media of communication have been awash with comments and repudiations from both sides to the conflict. But if the comment of a spokesman for the sect which has been well advertised in the media is anything to go by, then there is actually no love lost between the army and the sect. While the army could be accused of possibly being high-handed, the sect too appears to hold the establishment -the government and security agencies, particularly the army- in utter contempt. When the spokesman was asked whether they believe in the government or whether they defer to government, he simply said that the sect obeys orders especially when the orders are not in conflict with “Allah’s injunctions”. If I may ask: How do you determine between Allah’s injunctions and government’s authority? The interpretation of what the sect spokesman simply said was that even if the government issues an order that there must not be any procession at a particular time, for security reasons, chances are that the sect might flout that order if it (the sect) believes it is embarking on a procession in line with Allah’s wish. To say the least, this is nothing but a recipe for confrontation.

    When asked whether it was true that the sect members attacked the soldiers, the spokesman said: “If you are in your house and you see an armed person within the precinct of your house, what will you do?” What this man needs to understand is that if you have no skeleton in the cupboard and you suddenly woke up and see security agents around your premises, the most reasonable thing to do is either wait and see what they are up to, or to politely ask questions. Confrontation cannot and must not be the first option. There cannot be a republic within a republic. Otherwise, what is the difference between what this sect is trying to do and what Boko Haram is doing? Nobody can pronounce himself or herself an untouchable. We must all be answerable to the laws of the land and not attempt to carve out any utopian empire just because we feel we are superior to the law or that our religion is superior to the laws of the land.

    At any rate, what has happened and has continued to repeat itself is quite unfortunate and uncalled for. Just as religion has a role to play in the country, the government, through its laws and agencies, also has a duty to create the enabling environment for citizens to go about their normal duties without fear of molestation and attack. Without an enabling environment, no religion, government or business can thrive. The first casualty is peace. We must get that clear. Therefore, rather than preach hatred, our religious leaders must preach peace at all times. If we are today saying that successive governments in Nigeria have failed the people, so also are our so-called religious leaders. They have also failed us since they appear to be more engrossed in how to line their pockets with filthy lucre and acquire political powers through the back door. They merely use their spiritual positions as subterfuge to acquire undue influence and power.

    If anything at all, we need peace in this country more than any other thing as the absence of peace will certainly impinge on the much needed development we all crave for. Our religious leaders whether Christians, Muslims or any other religion for that matter, should strive at all times to subjugate themselves and their followers to the dictates of the law. The laws are there to guarantee peace and uphold the fundamental human rights of individuals. You don’t undermine the law and then turn round to say that your human rights have been abused or trampled on.

    With more than 700,000 innocent citizens dead, countless others maimed, many houses raised and economic lives ruined, pseudo-religionists as represented by Boko Haram, have done incalculable damage to this country. We cannot afford another dangerous group toying with the destiny of this country. The security agents too must exercise restraint in the way they go about their duties without creating unnecessary tension and acrimony in the polity. This country belongs to everybody – Christians, Muslims, traditionalists, pagans, soldiers, other law enforcement agents, ordinary citizens and what have you. It is not the exclusive property of any individual or group of people no matter how highly or well placed they might be.

    By Dele Agekameh

     

    Views expressed in any article we published remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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  • Making Sense Out Of Oshiomhole's Nonsense In Edo State.

    23/Feb/2016 // 266 Viewers

    By Iredia Osakue

    President Fidel Castro of Cuba once said that , " in a state of lawlessness it is illegal to be law abiding." In part, I want to agree with the author of this quote as it can be treated in manifold, but taking into cognizance the present disharmony between the government of Edo state and citizens, let me narrow my point to the present unbearable situation experienced by people who go about their daily businesses with heavy hearts. The people are bereft of hope and desire to confront life with vigour owing to the government's lack of implementations designed to affect the majority. 

    In a society that is near extinction as a result of misrule and totalitarian agenda, citizens are forced to act otherwise and sometimes unruly all in an attempt to secure their space and livelihood. Unfortunately, citizens act in autonomy in a state blessed with abundance in providing electricity, security, water and other basic amenities as a result of government's inability to adequately harness the state's resources and channel it positively. This anomaly exposes the inadequacies of a leader who has lost grip on governance and sanity. 

    READ & LISTEN: INTERVIEW: Reconstructing Edo State; who does the cap fit?

    The responsibility of a genuine leader is to see to the welfare of citizens and sincerely protect their rights and encourage them to obey and carry out their duties in line with the laws of the land. This norm in the proper sense of it should be respected and applicable to all, but in this present system, reverse is the case - as some are highly favoured and others subjected to serious inhuman treatment from those perceived by many as the government's "machinery of vengeance and enforcers of falsehood." 

    Sadly, what is happening in Edo state is an antithesis of the rights and duties of citizens. Paying lip service to the worrisome situation of the common man has cast an ugly shadow over the government's healthiness. 

    Nowadays, law abiding citizens are vilified while brigands and marauders are praised to high heavens - and with the provision of the law in their favour, they act with impunity. It is no news that motorists around the metropolis and hinterland of the state are daily subjected to intimidation, extortion and harassment by the government's apparatus that is charged to control traffic and bring sanity to our roads. 

    Just recently, it was rumored that the government hurriedly disbanded one of this apparatuses apparently because of the forthcoming election or to save face from continuous condemnation. This did not come out of good work or intention, but as a result of complaints by road users on the menace of these "untrained" traffic controllers. 

    Worse still, the roads plied by these oppressed motorists are in sorry states without hope for brighter days. 
    If the Governor can openly declare a body that has been operational for months or years as unconstitutional, then something must be wrong. 

    Similarly, market women are flogged, beaten, maltreated and their wares destroyed or seized in an attempt to clear the walk ways, but ironically, they are never spared the payment of levies on the spaces that are considered "no go area." As a result, these women suffer tremendously as they are further plunged into debt occasioned by interest paid on their borrowed money from Microfinance establishments. 
    It is on this score that traders are not yielding to government's regulation on walk way trading. If you ask me, I will say it is good to keep the environment clean, but the approach involved in carrying out this exercise flies in the face of genuine sense of purpose or intention. 

    These enforcers have become law unto themselves and because of the backing of the government they act aberrantly with flagrant disregard to the rights of people. This I dare say is a slap on the face of the government for allowing some empowered few to cause pain on the free citizens of the state. 

    In the same vein, duly elected chairmen of some local governments were sacked on unsubstantiated allegations thereby subverting the mandate of the electorate. In an attempt to favour "godsons," some were recalled and others perceived to be obstinate were treated with disdain and reckless abandon. This brings to mind the principle of Nicoló Machiavelli that " a ruler should engage in vices which would preserve his power than engage in virtues which will destroy it." 

    Painfully, teachers and workers in some parastatals are owed salaries running into several months and hitherto, these faithful workers still go about their duties irrespective of the untold hardship. Unfortunately, the government remains adamant to their plight. 

    Consequently, it is unequivocal to say that the state is in a serious precipitation to oblivion and this latent bombshell can only be averted if the people, this time, work with their minds in bringing about a positive and qualitative leadership change in the state. This can be achieved by throwing spanner in the wheel designed to propel the imposition of a stooge on the people. 

    Only on this note can the citizens of Edo state call the heartbeat of the country " El dorado."

     

    *Iredia Osakue is a political analyst and public commentator on current affairs.

     

    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any article we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch.


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  • Nigeria Can Still Break Up

    23/Nov/2015 // 413 Viewers

    In the Holy Bible book, Matthew 26:41, Jesus Christ advised his disciples to “watch and pray” so that they would “not enter into temptation”. What God is saying in this quoted passage is the necessity for all His children to walk and tread in consciousness in all we do because one single mistake is more than enough to derail us, even in a well-planned journey. Nigerians need to pay more attention to this advice because forces of “darkness” still hover around us as a people and a Nation.

    Some years ago, there was a major threat of this country [Nigeria] breaking up. That was the fact that confronted us when the Nigerian civil war broke out with the crack of the first bullet of that war coming from the Federal Government troops in a small village of Garkem, near Ogoja, on July 6, 1967.

    That avoidable war that was fought for two years led to about two million lives being lost on both sides. Yet, we could not prevent it because we took too many things for granted. Things that bordered on human arrogance, corruption, nepotism, promotion of tribal egotism, uncontrollable greed of some national leaders, total disrespect for rule of law and many other evils brought us to the point where the centre could not hold anymore. Sadlyenough, 45 years after the war ended,  all the national maladies that led us to it are recklessly still at play, even at larger level. If this is true, then the fact remains that our inability to learn anything from the calamity of our past while we seemed to have forgotten all the lessons of the failures of yester-years, we are most likely to come face-to-face with the country breaking up still. There are other indicators that we may want to evaluate.

    Towards the last days of Olusegun Obasanjo’s second tenure as president, the so-called “Police man” of the world, America and some European countries predicted that if care was not taken, Nigeria may “break-up before the end of 2015”.   However, 2015 came and is almost gone without Nigeria breaking up, many thanks to former President Goodluck Jonathan’s efforts at up-holding democracy. This success must not blindfold us into believing that the so-called “doomsday conspiracy of the false prophets”, as some Nigerians would like to refer to the prediction, is over. No, as long as the indicators remain germane in our everyday national life, the nearer to the precipice the Nigerian Nation gets. This is where we need to combine prayer for Nigeria not breaking-up to doing what is right for our prayers to be answered. The truth that needs to be told is that there is no way Nigeria will continue without falling apiece given the way we are being presently governed by   these fraudulent dealers parading themselves as leaders.   I need to cite some pointers and comments from a few notable God-fearing citizens.

    Speaking at the 25th Anniversary of the Scriptures Union of Nigeria in Abuja on October 31, 2015, General Yakubu Gowon, former Military Head of State, warned of a looming danger to Nigeria. “We face great consequences, if we don’t follow the path of rectitude”, the most respected leader warned, adding that “if we do not arise to bring our youths into the path of rectitude, then their future will appear gloomy, and, therefore, we cannot build a virile nation of trust, integrity and good governance”. He mentioned many other calamities bedevilling the nation. What that man of peace who fought and brought peace and unity back to Nigeria by declaring “no victor, no vanquish” at the end of the Nigerian civil war, has just told us is that unless we watch and pray over most of our national behaviours as a people, we may soon come to that point of total disintegration.

    In addition, l read with adorable respect, the book of another principal actor in the Nigerian civil war, Brigadier General Godwin Alabi-Isama, appropriately titled: THE TRAGEDY OF VICTORY. He gave good historical back-ground of both the circumstances that led to the first-ever military coup of 1966 and the Nigerian civil war, including an account of the military operation throughout the war, with particular reference to the exploits of the 3rd Marine Commando – first commanded by the late Brigadier General Benjamin Adekunle before General Olusegun Obasanjo took over. In his conclusion, he said that all the maladies like “corruption, tribalism, nepotism and other evils which led to the first military coup of January 1966, and eventually to the civil war, ”which ought to have been eliminated remain with us till today”, adding: ”This Is What I   Called Tragedy Of Victory”.

    My summary in this work is to warn that the Federal Government of Nigeria has a responsibility of showing good example in leadership to the remaining two tier of government – states and local authority. The incumbent Federal Government needs to show its sincerity, respect and total commitment to democratic ethos and ethics, human rights and rule of law plus promotion of welfare of the Nigerian people. There must be paradigm shift from “languages of body movement” which can never be a replacement for sound and enduring economic policy, from uncharted navigational course on fight against corruption to a defined path of wealth creation that shows in the lives of the citizenry. A man [surrounded by a selected few of brain-washed sycophants] who is guided by myopic idiosyncrasy in running a country of 180 million people with two-third of this population being internationally proven egg-heads, can only push Nigeria to a precipice.

    There is too much poverty in the land today. The Nigerian people are daily being alienated from government’s security machinery which has failed to protect them, hence the emergence of tribal militias and cultists to “protect themselves”. This is the same way the ‘’Mafia and Mafioso” started in those hilly northern cities of Italy some decades ago. By the time these groups become well established, the “roads to Niger Delta militancy, Movement for the Restoration of Biafra, Arewa Defensive Front, Cattle Rustlers, Fulani Herdsmen, Odua People Congress and even Boko Haram would have been paved with gold”. These are the fastest groups that can quicken the break- up of any country. So we need to watch and pray for Nigeria not to break-up. Will PMB walk Nigeria into this grace?

     

     Godwin Etakibuebu writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

     

    Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are entirely the author's and do not  reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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  • Why we oppose another Nigerian-Biafran War

    23/Nov/2015 // 1622 Viewers

    The Nigerian Civil War, 1967 – 1970, was an ethnic and political conflict caused by the attempted secession of the South-eastern provinces of Nigeria as the self-proclaimed republic of Biafra. The war became notorious for the starvation in some of the besieged war-bound regions, and the consequent claims of genocide made by the largely Igbo people of those regions.

    Causes of the Conflict

    The conflict was the result of serious tensions, both ethnic and religious, between the different peoples of Nigeria. Like most modern African nations, Nigeria was an artificial construct, put together by agreement between European powers, paying little regard to historical African boundaries or population groups. The Nigeria which received independence from Britain in 1960 had a population of 60 million people of nearly 300 differing ethnic and tribal groups.

    Of the ethnic groups that made up Nigeria, the largest were the largely Muslim Hausa in the north, the Yoruba in the half-Christian, half-Muslim south-west, and the Igbo in the predominantly Christian south-east. At independence a conservative political alliance had been made between the leading Hausa and Igbo political parties, which ruled Nigeria from 1960 to 1966. This alliance excluded the western Yoruba people. The well-educated Igbo people were considered by many to be the main beneficiaries of this alliance, taking most of the top jobs and leading business opportunities in the Nigerian federation.

    The Yoruba westerners had supported a left-leaning, reformist party, the Action Group, which was antipathic to the conservative northern muslim bloc. A "palace coup" by conservative elements in the west, led to the formation of a more conservative Yoruba party, the NNDP, prepared to go into alliance with the Hausa northerners. This new political alliance excluded the Igbo-dominated East from power, and threatened to roll back the gains of the Igbo elite.

    The elections of 1965 saw the Nigerian National Alliance of the Muslim north and the conservative elements in the west, face off against the United Progressive Grand Alliance of the Christian east and the progressive elements among the westerners. The Alliance of North and West won a crushing victory under Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, amid claims of widespread electoral fraud.

    Military Coup

    The claims of fraud led to a military coup by left-leaning Igbo officers. General Ironsi became head of state. Some months later, a counter coup by northern officers placed General Yakubu Gowon into power. Ethnic tensions increased, with massacres of Christian Igbos living in the Muslim north.

    The discovery of large quantities of oil in the south-east of the country had led to the prospect of the south-east becoming self-sufficient and increasingly prosperous. However the exclusion of easterners from power made many fear that the oil revenues would be used to benefit areas in the north and west rather than their own.

    All these factors led to a growing pressure in the Igbo east for secession.

    Break away
    The military governor of the Igbo-dominated south-east, Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu, citing the northern massacres and electoral fraud, proclaimed with southern parliament the secession of the south-eastern region from Nigeria as the Republic of Biafra, an independent nation. Although there was much sympathy in Europe and elsewhere, only four countries recognized the new republic.

    Civil War
    The Nigerian government immediately launched a "police action", using the armed forces to retake the secessionist territory.

    At first Nigerian progress was slow, and failures of its larger army to invade the territory of the new republic led to a growth in worldwide support for Biafra. Biafran troops crossed the Niger River, entered the mid-western region, and launched attacks close to Lagos, the then Nigerian capital.

    However reorganisation of the Nigerian forces, and the effects of a naval, land and air blockade of Biafra led to a change in the balance of forces. Biafran forces were pushed back into their core territory, and the capital of Biafra, the city of Enugu was captured by Nigerian forces. The Biafrans continued to resist in their core Igbo heartlands, which were soon surrounded by Nigerian forces.

    The Swedish eccentric, Count Carl Gustav von Rosen also led a miniCOIN brigade in action, his BAF (Biafran Air Force) consisted of three Swedes and two Biafrans.

    Stalemate

    From 1968 onward, the war fell into a lengthy stalemate, with Nigerian forces unable to make significant advances into the remaining areas of Biafran control. The blockade of the surrounded Biafrans led to a humanitarian and propaganda disaster when it emerged that there was widespread civilian hunger and starvation in the besieged Igbo areas. An overused tactic of the Nigerian forces had been the sabotage of farmland, and this was now beginning to affect the Biafran population. Images of starving Biafran children went around the world. The Biafran government claimed that Nigeria was using hunger and genocide to win the war, and sought aid from the outside world.

    Many volunteer bodies organised blockade-breaking relief flights into Biafra, carrying food, medicines, and sometimes (it was claimed) weapons. Nigeria also claimed that the Biafran government was hiring foreign mercenaries to extend and lengthen the war.

    Aftermath

    Despite the foreign aid, and the political harm done to Nigeria, the area controlled by the Biafran government grew smaller and smaller. A final surrender of Biafran forces took place in 1970 when Ojukwu fled to the republic of Côte d’Ivoire, leaving his deputy Philip Effiong to handle the details of the surrender. To the surprise of many in the outside world, the threatened reprisals and massacres did not occur, and genuine attempts were made at reconciliation.

    The war cost Nigeria a great deal in terms of lives, money and its image in the world. It has been estimated that up to a million people may have died due to the conflict, hunger and disease. Reconstruction, helped by the oil money, was swift; however, the old ethnic and religious tensions often remained. Military Government continued in power in Nigeria for many years, and people in the oil-producing areas claimed they were being denied a fair share of oil revenues. Laws were passed mandating that political parties could not be ethnically or tribally based; however, it has been hard to make this work in practice. Would these mistakes that cost us so much men and materials be allowed to repeat itself?

    Be that as it may, anything that will heighten this tension should be avoided by the immediate and unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu who has never detonated a single bomb to press home the demand of the generality of the Igbo nation. 

     

    Chuba Nweke Okadigbo , a professor in international relations writes from Zurich, Switzerland.

     

    The views expressed in this piece  are entirely the author's and do not represent the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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  • Killing Lagos softly

    24/Dec/2015 // 203 Viewers

    By Jide Osuntokun

    Some weeks ago I was in Lagos for an urgent business and I was shocked by the totally degraded environment of the city. This was at the height of a Saharan dust blowing across the whole of West Africa but it appeared more serious in Lagos because it was compounded by the smog hanging over the city. This smog was created by the exhaust from articulated trucks and petrol tankers evacuating petrol from the ports. The horrendous traffic snarl on the roads did not help. Vehicles remained on one spot for hours spewing carbon monoxide into the air. Added to this is the heavy human traffic in the town.

    These people have to be fed hence God knows how many pots were on open fire heating up the putrid air in the city and adding to the warming the city of 20milllion operating without the technological know how that would have been available to a city of this size in  a more civilized environment. While this was going on, many cities in China were faced with the same problem and city dwellers were shown covering their mouths and noses with protective gears. Of course in our own city of Lagos, people were breathing in this unsafe air totally oblivious of its consequences. There was no warning from government agencies and only God knows how many people suffering from respiratory diseases would have died.

    I can understand the bad smog in China with its 1.3billion people and its cities like Beijing and Shanghai of millions of people. But we should not be faced in Lagos with this kind of a killer of a smog I witnessed. This is the time when the federal government should insist that all vehicles plying the roads in our country must have catalytic converters to handle vehicular gas emission to at least purify the exhaust spewing out of the trucks, trailers and automobiles. The population movement to Lagos may have reached a tipping point when a solution would have to be found. Why can’t other ports be developed to diversify the ocean trade of Nigeria so that we do not put all our eggs in one basket? Between Lagos and Calabar are several ports crying to be developed to relieve Lagos of the unbearable and killing burden it is bearing. We must not ride a willing horse to death.

    It is unfortunate that all the plans to revive the railways in the past were clever plots to loot the national treasury, including as we are now told, loans taken from China which were deliberately diverted to other use to benefit the money-picking hands of political big-wigs in the recently defeated government of Goodluck Jonathan. If the railways were usable, the thousands of tankers and trucks on our roads and at the ports of Lagos would not have been necessary because heavy haulage in all civilized countries is done by rail. Imagine if we did not have the trucks and tankers on Lagos roads and ports, the place would have been saner.

    Those of us who grew up in Lagos remember how lovely Apapa  reservation area was in the old days being the other high-brow area apart from Ikoyi. This was before Victoria Island and, of course, Lekki. I know an in-law of mine who after working for many years in Saudi Arabia returned home and bought a property in Apapa. He is now regretting it because he is cut off  from all friends and relatives because no one in his correct sense will embark on a journey to visit anybody in Apapa no matter how much love one has for  such a relation. The vehicular madness in Lagos has made Apapa a no-go area. In December, most of Lagos roads are clogged with vehicles ostensibly those shopping for Christmas and the new year.

    The unloveable situation in Lagos is compounded by high rate of crime. The urchins known as area boys and those hawking all kinds of goods on the roads ranging from Asian junks to life chickens and other food stuffs use whatever they are hawking as a camouflage for robbery when it is dark after six o’clock in the evening. This has further reduced life in Lagos to hell on earth. The unavailability of electricity most of the time has led to everybody turning himself to power generating bodies. Virtually everybody generates his or her own power creating a nuisance in terms of noise and carbon emission.

    On top of this comes the religious houses of  some Christian and Muslim sects who compete with each other on who can make the loudest noise by the volume of their loud speakers. As soon as the Muslims finish their evening prayers, some Christian sects will drum through out the night and hand over to the Muslims who will wake  everybody up for their morning prayers.  Some of the Lagos people live in Ogun State but work in Lagos and even some who live in the outskirts of Lagos wake up as early as 4 a.m to hit the roads so that they can get to their offices at 8 a.m. The same people will not reach their homes until 11 p.m. It is a miracle that people do not go berserk and  kill others. The hardship in Lagos leads to  infidelity on  the part of husband and wife and lack of care and proper up bringing of children.

    Why does anybody subject himself or herself to this hell on earth? The answer is that there is no alternative. All the jobs are in Lagos. Rather than be jobless, up country people come to Lagos to die. I remember attending a conference of world cities when I was living in Germany. I proudly announced that I was from Lagos and that the city had over 10 million people. The mayor of Karlsruhe, a beautiful German city in the south of the country before I finished my introduction told me no African country can handle a city of that magnitude. I did not agree then but I now agree. The multitude of people in Lagos on the margin of society will help themselves and the Lagos government by returning home to their states where they will live a better life. When conditions for life in Lagos becomes impossible, the Lagos government supported by the federal government may do something drastic and dramatic before people kill Lagos .

     

    *Disclaimer: Views expressed in any article we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch

     

     


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  • Buhari & the impending death of the Naira

    24/Feb/2016 // 170 Viewers

     

    By Rotimi Fasan

    THE Naira, Nigeria’s national currency, has been very much in the news in the last couple of weeks. The naira is seriously ill and the prognosis from the ‘experts’, many of them full of bile and ill-will, is indeed dire. They have written the naira’s obituary and are already summoning the burial party of undertakers that would complete the final task of their death wish- ensure the untimely death of the currency.

    Many of these latter-day mourners have for long made terrible forecasts of the state of the Nigerian economy, if only to prove that its present managers are incompetent fools. But their crocodile tears for the naira are some of the many they have shed for just about anything and everything they claim is wrong in the country today.

    Nothing would or could make them happy unless they can see the ship of state flounder under its present captains. And so they go about with their self-fulfilling prophesies of the death of the naira as a consequence of Mohammadu Buhari’s ignorance of basic economic principles.

    The argument about the imminent death of the naira, who and what is responsible for it, is never made clear. It could in fact change as often and get as confusing as the changing colours of a chameleon’s skin. After lamenting the gradual death of the naira and the supposed incompetent management of the economy (they don’t bother to explain how) that has brought it about, they proceed to proffer devaluation as the immediate solution to the dwindling strength of the naira.

    They urge that an already comatose patient be pummelled even further in order to revive it. And even though the Buhari administration has not been known for the kind of profligate splurging on expensive foreign goods and services that has contributed to the depletion of our foreign reserves, the government is nevertheless blamed, voodoo-fashion, for all that ails the economy in general and the naira in particular.

    What these critics try to conceal with their sob tales about the falling power of the naira is their pain that their days of unaccountable squandering on everything foreign will no longer be easy if not well-nigh over.

    They would now have to carry the heavy price of their appetite for foreign things or else make do with what is available at home. O yes, the picture is not a black or white one as it might sound from the foregoing, but the point is simple enough for the majority who don’t have the means to sustain a lust for foreign products to understand. If anyone deserves the blame for the present poor health of the naira it should be those who took no heed for the future health of the Nigerian economy by opening every loophole for every politician that strayed into the corridors of power to exploit for personal gains.

    This category of Nigerians preceded President Buhari into Aso Rock Villa at least by some six years. The blame for those who wrecked our economy and brought the naira down to its knees belong elsewhere than with Buhari who has made the priorities of his administration clear to Nigerians. To ignore his words in this regard is to expect from him what he has not promised.

    Buhari does not think that the solution to our import-dependent economy is a weak naira. Nor does he think succour would come from continued reliance on crude oil. Considering the overt reliance of our economy on foreign products, he has decided to look inwards by encouraging the growth of the local economy. In line with our modest technological and scientific achievements, or our disdain for home-made products and services, Buhari has chosen to concentrate his attention on stimulating the local economy by giving support to agriculture and solid minerals. Let us face it, outside of our insatiable and misplaced desire for foreign products and worth not, ours is still a largely agrarian economy.

    That may not sound fashionable in this age of cutting edge innovations in information and communication technology, medicine and engineering. The point may sound so retrogressive in this age of scientific triumphalism. But it is the truth.

    Wealthy Nigerians may boast ownership of the 2016 models of the best armoured-plated automobiles in the world, they may import everything required to complete the construction of their high end mansions from Dubai, Italy and South Africa, and fly first class on foreign airlines where they are not the proud owners of their own jets.

    They may wear the latest fashion items from the best designers around the world, eat the latest processed foods from Europe and the United States of America- they may have at the push of a smartphone keypad any of these foreign products of which they have no knowledge of how they are produced. But the vast majority of Nigerians are only concerned about where their next meal would come from.

    At least, a nation that cannot or is unwilling to produce any of the imported things it consumes should be able to produce its own food. A well-fed people can have the presence of mind to think well and straight enough to tackle other problems that could lead to the kind of humanitarian disasters that have turned many parts of Africa into the most blighted portions of our planet.

    It is these modest but important tasks to meet such domestic goals as food sufficiency and affordable clothing and housing, that the Buhari administration has set for itself. It does not pretend it can turn around our economy from ‘Third world to first world’ overnight.

    But neither would it encourage wanton importation of foreign goods even those like tooth picks we can conveniently produce ourselves. He is saying those craving foreign products should find their own means to fund their private and perverted desires. Let them not pretend that devaluation is the only way out for us all. Or worse yet, blame him for the condition of the naira.

    The late Tai Solarin often warned that Nigerians should be prepared to give up their love for foreign products if the country must rise. Until Nigerians demonstrate their readiness to pay the price of greatness, he did not think we would ever amount to anything. Until Indians were ready to wear their own locally-produced clothes, Nehru ensured no clothing material was imported into the country. No great nation attained that status by dependence on foreign things. This is the lesson Nigerians must learn.

    In the years before the fall of the iron curtain, Russians were proud users of Russian-made cars.

    The Chinese were not left out either. Their cultural revolution ensured that they stayed away from everything foreign in order to guarantee their present rise to world prominence.

     

    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any piece we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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  • What's is the value of a woman?

    24/Mar/2016 // 149 Viewers

    By Emma Tobin


    I remember a friend saying that gay rights is the issue of our generation and, while I agreed at the time, I can't help but feel that he was not entirely correct.

    As a woman, I fight everyday to be respected and treated as an equal. In my middle class American family, I am not a second class citizen but in the larger world it's extremely apparent that I am. I was so naive about women's issues growing up. I went to an all-girls school, have two sisters, and a plethora of opportunities so I didn't realize how segregated and sexist the world is until I moved to Morocco.

    In Morocco, I cannot be out past nine alone, I am catcalled, stared at and followed on my way to and from work. My body is just an object to be stared at and commented on without regard for who I am or even that I am a human being. It doesn't matter to men what I or other women wear. I can be in a hijab and still be harassed because it's not a male responsibility to treat me with respect, it's a female responsibility not to tempt those men.

    Catcalling is not an issue limited to Morocco. All over the world women are subjected to catcalling everyday irrespective of what they wear, how old they are, or their socioeconomic background. In a study of 630 women done by the Centre for Equity and Inclusion in India, 95% reported that they were restricted in public places as a result of male harassment. A survey by The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women found that 99.3% of Egyptian women have experienced some form of sexual harassment, both physical and verbal.

    I came to Morocco to learn about women in Muslim societies and to try and be involved with some form of women's empowerment. I knew it would be hard to be a woman here and that, in a lot of ways, I wouldn't be respected because of my gender. What I didn't expect was to stare into the face of a man who told me he wasn't going to send his 6 and 8 year old daughters to school but that he would send his sons to school if he had them. In other words, his girls were, in his opinion, not worth the investment.

    What this man and so many ignore is that, through education, women are less likely to get married and have children at a young age and, thus, less likely to die in childbirth, are better caretakers of the children they have, and are better suited to find work that will support their families. Women with an education basically lift entire families out of poverty.

    In this very same village, Akrich, there was a tragic accident that took the life of a local man. His wife is illiterate which makes it nigh impossible for her to find a job to support her three children. It's a tragic situation, but not an uncommon one. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said “by acquiring literacy, women become more economically self-reliant and more actively engaged in their country's social, political and cultural life. All evidence shows that investment in literacy for women yields high development dividends.”

    Akrich isn't an exception. This ingrained sexism and cultural expectations for women run rampant across most of the world. The hardest part about the way women are treated is that it's hard not to feel helpless. How am I supposed to change the way people have been thinking since the beginning of time? How can I convince both men and women that we need to change our ideas about what women's role is and what women can do? How do we adapt whole cultures and religious interpretations to see how archaic their treatment of 49.6% of the population is?

    Spiralling into questions and self doubt only further the problem. International Women's Day was on March 8th. However, every day girls and women are married at a young age, raped, catcalled, forced to leave school, or demeaned because of their gender. Both men and women need to continue the conversation about gender equality and empowerment before it is pushed aside by other more pressing matters. The UN has declared that it will attempt to reach gender equality by 2030, and with such a tight deadline we must continue to create equality so we can reach this goal within the next 14 years.

     

    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any piece we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch

     


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  • Putting Matters Straight In Edo State.

    24/Nov/2015 // 759 Viewers

                                                                 Hon Matthew Iduoriyekemwen


    The election time bomb in Edo state is ticking. If not for the fact that nature cannot be tampered  some people would have adjusted time for the election bomb to detonate as quickly as possible, so as to know who survives. But we must all wait! The unspeakable pain, mental and physical stress occasioned by maladministration and crass political experience has caused a devastating stagnation in the state. But, this time, the pendulum must swing positively - and in favour of the citizens.

    The happenings in the state are  not alien and the interest of the people is also evident. The people want a government that is working and a leader that is not inept and unruly. Over time the state has experienced unquantified turbulence and it is time to put a final stop. This stop is now! As we all know, the "ballot is stronger than the bullet." The franchise of all Nigerians as provided by the constitution is explicitly the arbiter - and every Edo indigene must jealously protect it.

    Under the umbrella of PDP, somebody of moral standing in the person of Rt. Hon. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen has agreed to "Joshua" the people of Edo state to the long expected political prominence and enjoy the inherent benefits.

    As they say " a trial will convince you." Hon. Matthew is ready and willing to rejuvenate the society, sanitize the political structure and build an effective framework that will endure the test of time.

    If this is his desire, it will be an egregious mistake if the people fail to give him the push that will thus catapult him to the level where his voice can be heard and adhered to. Let us all bear in mind that a new song by a willing heart is about to permeate the silence of despair in Edo state - and this can only be achieved through the people's unflinching support to this indefatigable man, Hon. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen.

    From the primaries, all the way to the election proper let Hon Matthew Iduoriyekemwen take the lead for the actualization of the people's dream - a better Edo state.

     

    Iredia Osakue, a political analyst, public commentator on current affairs writes from Turin, Italy

     


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