By ADEOLA ADEROUNMU, Since 2006

Posts tagged ‘Nigerian Politics’

Foolish Expectations

Mr. Robert Marley must be flabbergasted in his grave. There is a place where you can fool all the people all the time by repeating the same jingles every four years and make them have the same expectations of a better life. It must be foolish expectations waiting for good to emerge from evil.

Foolish Expectations

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

I have a friend who strongly believes that ordinary Nigerians who are waiting for Nigeria to improve politically and economically will grow old (or not) and die while waiting.

This friend of mine is one of the several millions of Nigerians who discuss about Nigeria almost every day. Some of us go the extra mile to put our thoughts and arguments into words. That is why we are able to blog regularly or opine our thoughts weekly.

Nigeria is approaching an election year and that makes the discussion about election the hottest for now.

The reasons why Nigeria will not improve politically have not been tackled because Nigeria remains a “geographical prize” presently chased by several crooks and political scavengers grouped mainly into two factions-APC and PDP.

In the past the prize has been chased and won under different dispensations. In politics it is the politicians and their army of sycophants who win the prize, steal the monies in the treasuries and disappear into thin air.

Under military rule, it is the soldiers who steal the monies in the treasuries and carried out counter coups to take turns in looting the treasuries.

Irrespective of the dispensations, the criminals have mostly gotten away with the proceeds of the treasuries, and to this day they continue to live large. Some died leaving billions of dollars of Nigerian money in foreign accounts/countries. There is no limit to stupidity in that sense.

An interesting dimension is the persistent of some people in the Nigerian political scene. It’s not all the crooks who disappear. It is amazing how long some of them have continued to carry out their nefarious activities while the people and the short arm of the law look away.

One of the most shocking aspects of the Nigerian life is the way the people condemn the rulers and the politicians despite the fact that they know that they were criminals before they were selected or bundled into important national and political positions.

In Nigeria the knowledge that a fellow has criminal cases or is incompetent are not deterrent factors to eventual elevation in public life or politics.

For the ones who became criminals while in office Nigerians have not find the way to boot them away or send them to prisons. Instead Nigerians develop a weird follow-follow Nigerian syndrome that is built on nepotism, blind faith and waiting for my turn to chop.

There are several examples that cut across the two major political parties, and beyond.

There are too many examples from the past and the present. The future seemed already awash with dubious characters waiting in line. The Nigerian society continues to thrive on systemic falsehood, alignment with bogus promises and foolish expectations.

This is a repetition. One criminal called James was sentenced in a Nigerian court. He later became a governor and what happened next is history. He raped the state and looted it blind. It took a London court to confirm to the foolish people of his state that they had a criminal ruling them!

This type of obvious stupidity-allowing criminals and extremely bad people to rule and dictate the policies- is spread across the length and breadth of Nigeria.

Nigerians know that occupiers of government houses across the land are not true to their promises and they rank them in order of their corruption tendencies instead of forcing the law to take its course.

There are millions of Nigeria who knew that a former governor in Bayelsa and his wife have been stealing directly and through couriers while ruling the state. They even know the criminal before that called Alams.

Yet when Obasanjo brought Jonathan to the national front to become one of the rulers of Nigeria, Nigerians accepted him. It is not as if Obasanjo is a saint but majority of Nigerians canonized him. It’s part of the foolishness, to raise one evil above the other instead of total condemnation of such in public offices.

Jonathan who never did anything tangible in Bayelsa continued to fool Nigerians 6 years on. His romance with all kinds of criminals-or their offspring attests to the nature of his true personality.

Mr. Robert Marley must be flabbergasted in his grave. There is a place where you can fool all the people all the time by repeating the same jingles every four years and make them have the same expectations of a better life. It must be foolish expectations expecting good to emerge from evil.

I remember watching the campaign trails of Jonathan versus Atiku during my visit to Lagos, Western Nigeria in 2010. I remember the walk down the streets in Iyana Ipaja, Festac Town and some parts of Amuwo Odofin. I can’t forget the disconnection between the people ruling and the people being ruled. It was two worlds apart.

The people who should be in prisons for crimes against Nigeria and Nigerians are always the ones on the campaign trails every 4 years. They are here again. Amazing!

The system is not right.

In 2014 Nigerians expected Jonathan to have solved their problems despite knowing his background as lazy, corrupt, feeble, and lacking courage. They know there is no way his wife would have been stealing so much money if he was not providing them from the Bayelsa state coffers. How much money has been stolen from the Nigerian treasury under Mr. Jonathan?

Since the return of civil rule and the virtual exit of the gangsters in uniform, several politicians and soldiers have been smiling to the bank and building businesses and empires by stealing public funds. Many of them have been receiving contract sums for work they never did. Nigeria’s most notorious ghost worker lives in Aso Rock.

In Lagos State it appears that everything is in the hands of Mr. Tinubu. Many have argued that this is necessary to provide a formidable opposition for the ruling party. Really?

So, Nigerians will get rid of crooks in Aso Rock by supporting crooks in the opposition parties. The people who treat symptoms rather than cure the disease won’t stop praying for miracles. This cycle is programmed to exist for as long as Nigeria exists.

I ponder. So Nigerians will for as long as they exist continue to choose between different forms of evil. So there will be no fresh start someday in Rivers, in Ekiti, in Adamawa, in Kogi, in Bayelsa, in Anambra and everywhere.

My friend does not claim to be a prophet but on this one, he is on point. If this is the mindset of a typical or an average Nigerian then the ordinary people will grow and die waiting for miracles in Nigeria. Their life time will be defined by complete hopelessness.

It is sad. Despite all the knowledge about what is wrong with Nigerian politics, Nigerians will follow-follow and repeat the same process in 2015.

Afterwards they will start to oppose and counter oppose and ask for a new fake change especially on the social networks.

Why can’t Nigerians soft pedal on elections and clean the system inside-out?

What are Nigerians going to do to stop politicians from stealing? What are they doing to stop the wastages at the federal execu-thieves level? What are they doing to stop the representa-thieves and legis-looters?

What are they doing to put a final stop to crimes in all the governors’ offices across the land? What are they going to do to ensure that elections become meaningful and that their votes really count?

How long do Nigerians intend to go before arriving at a point where Ghana-must go bags will not dictate the outcomes of (s)elections?

How do they intend to arrive at a point where the temporary condition of their stomachs is not a reference for thugs turned politicians?

How do they want to rebuild electoral principles/manifestos around education, health, jobs, social welfare, social justice and the protection of life and property? How?

I remember writing an article arguing that the 2011 elections should now hold until a political solution is adopted. I knew fully well that Nigerians were heading to the polls to select fraudsters. In 2015, the same process of selecting fraudsters will take place. The cycle of idiocy will be nourished.

The urgency of seeking political solutions has never been more critical than now when many things have already fallen apart in different regions. The worst hit is the N-Eastern axis under the control of local and foreign terrorists.

Nigerians should be tired of their rulers.

They need to elect leaders amongst them who will lead them in organizing and creating regional societies that will suit their goals and pursuits. This has been a mission impossible, and it is even sadder.

In 2018 slash 2019, people will be shouting, we told you not to vote for Jonathan-he is a liar. We warned you about Buhari-he is a dictator. We told you Atiku stole from the custom department.

We told you we want to control our resources. We told you the government was Boko Haram. We told you the oppositions were behind Boko Haram. We don’t have electricity. My children can’t go to school. Schools are for the rich. I have no job and no social security. There is serious problem of insecurity. The roads are bad. And so on.

My friend will still be right then because the system is just not working for the ordinary people. It was established out of oppression and oppression of the ordinary people will sustain it.

Nations or countries that prosper were mostly built on honesty, trust, patriotism, solidarity, probity, accountability, sincere promises, wise expectations and the pursuits of the common-good of all.

All the above virtues are missing in Nigeria. There will never be progress where there is no trust.

Majority of the citizens of any nation must cultivate these virtues. It must be forced down their throats through proper education or enlightenment campaigns.

In addition to integrity, functional institutions and a return to a system of government that works, these virtues are the hope of a brighter day for all the nations/regions entangled in non-functional unitary Nigeria.

aderounmu@gmail.com

The Cost Of Freedom

Unless a country or a group of people are willingly to genuinely give their today in the name of true freedom, their children will never be free tomorrow.

The Cost Of Freedom

Which Way Nigeria?

Which Way Nigeria?

By Adeola Aderounmu

Nigeria’s 54th year as a so-called independent country was marked in several ways. One headline that caught my attention was the one that stated that poverty in Nigeria has been reduced by 50%.

The headline is first class fraud.

Statistics was one of my favourite subjects during my first and second degrees at the University of Lagos. It is one of those subjects that I really felt comfortable doing. At Idiaraba it was Medical Statistics and oh, how I enjoyed every bit of it and the lecturer was awesome.

Poverty may have been reduced by 50%, it depends on the sample size or the part of the population where you draw your samples from.

So I can conclude that if we take the population of the follow-follow people flocking Aso Rock since the inception of Jonathan’s administration, he has successfully tackled the poverty among 50% of the ass-lickers including the expanding society of Aso Rock Bull Dogs.

If I cast my dragnets at the places that I know like Oshodi, Ojuelegba or Okokomaiko, my data will produce a result that will make nonsense of the results produced by some drunkards in Aso Rock. More than 90% of the people will be below poverty level and living on less than N500 a day.

For more than ever before majority of Nigerians groan under an increasingly senseless and insensitive government. Increasing the death rate and lowering the life expectancy of a population does not mean that poverty has been reduced.

In several essays I have depicted the nature, spread and characteristics of poverty in Nigeria as one of the worst hidden tragedies in the world. I have also been very quick to dismiss the claims of the few people who escaped the threshold of poverty sometimes through luck or unmerited opportunities that their situations cannot be used as the yardstick.

The title of this essay came as a result of my feelings in recent months. I’ll approach it.

I do know, and convincingly too that there are a few people in Sweden who have cultivated the habits of reading my articles, not because they want to be “my readers” but because they “enjoy” this culture of gossiping about “what did he write this week”?

I am happy for them, that they found a weekly delight.

I’ll keep them in the dark by not defining their range but amongst them are people who need to understand though that I have the right to my views about Nigeria no matter what they think or feel.

I cannot help those who found out too late that they had been talking to someone who has been writing about Nigeria since 2001.

One of my pictures on Facebook must have tilted the table over. I had a T-shirt with the inscription Oduduwa republic on my mind. It is one of my ideas of freedom. The image must have gone viral among some folks. I am still happy for them and I hope they get a pat on the back when they make their reports.

I wonder how much shock my Swedish-Nigerian readers suffered in the last 4 weeks when I had written stories about love. I will choose love any day over a failed country under the bondage of crazy and deaf rulers.

The love stories came to me after a recent trip to Finland. I think my ancestors love nature and they prefer the solitude of a calm sea to bring me teachings and guidance.

Today I wanted to write a story about “The Dreamer Boy” but I thought some people will like to know if I am still in tune with Nigeria and how the drunkards have reduced poverty by 50%.

What is more interesting than this blatant lie is the growth and spread of individuals, groups and associations that are intensifying their doubts about their continuous recognitions as Nigerians.

They are weighing the options of bailing out of a jaga-jaga Nigeria. There are many t-shirts nowadays with a lot of messages and one boy even tore his green passport and posted it on YouTube.

I have a lot of reflections on this emerging trend especially among “Nigerians” who are far away from their regions in Nigeria, based mostly in Europe, Asia and America.

For the Nigeria we have today became a total mess as a result of our collective failures as citizens and participants or onlookers in the successive corrupt and useless governments in Nigeria over the years and even to this day in October 2014.

The Nigeria of today was not the dream of the men and women who fought collectively to wrestle the country from the colonialists.

The reason we write or recite or even highlights repeatedly our failures as a country is because some people need the education at some point on what has happened and what we expected. Where Nigeria is today on the scale of human development and quality of life is a complete disgrace to the intellectual abilities of the African race.

One failed government blames the other and the cycle of idiocy rotates as nobody tackles the menaces of corruption, federal character (yes, it is a menace), nepotism and tribalism.

It was the greed in Nigerians and the corruption in their veins that exposed the madness of the colonialists who married different nations into one entity. “Irreconcilable differences” is an expression made in Nigeria. The crazy rulers destroyed the institutions of governance and many crazy people in government stole for themselves, their friends and their unborn generations-even to this day.

Since the mid-1960s, no government has made efforts to return power and freedom to the regions just the way it was when education, health and technological developments were functional until greed and outright stupidity reared their ugly heads.

The process of divide and rule, looting and total disregard for the rules of law continued and reached a new dimension since the inception of pseudo-democracy in 1999.

For Nigeria I have oscillated between hope and hopelessness and my understanding of statistics says it is time to try something else.

I am all for the freedom and the emancipation of the people who are currently enslaved in Nigeria.

It is imperative to define the modalities and the cost of freedom so that the sycophants and the major players of today do not ruin the future of our children and grandchildren the same way they ruined our parents lives and displaced us to different places around the globe.

I wish that all the groups and associations around the world will emerge from their clandestine positions and start to talk openly. The Scottish people just had a vote. The outcome was not as important as the action they took but it will define the things to come in the future. Their children will grow up feeling more secured.

It is old fashioned to seek freedom in the dark rooms. It is very primitive to seek independence through confidential emails or social media closed groups.

If you want something, make it open, make it plain. Go for it and carry the people who need the change along.

Healthy debates, open groups, open discussions and other form of transparent dealings may help to check some of my personal fears regarding the stakeholders in all these clandestine groups scattered around the world.

What is the cost of freedom?

The cost of freedom lies in service to humanity. It is not looting the treasury and telling stupid lies about security and poverty.

The cost of freedom in public service lies in willingness to die at the altar of truth. It is not in building houses of gold on the polluted land across Nigeria.

The cost of freedom is the deprivation that comes with the belief that humanity comes before self.

The cost of freedom will be correlated to conventional free thinking and explorative mindedness.

It will not be locked to dying for the sake of acquiring virgins in an imaginary place. It will not have anything to do with deadly assembly at the feet of gangster mortals called prophets. The cost of freedom will rid a nation of the defenders of evil.

Unless a country or a group of people are willingly to genuinely give their today in the name of true freedom, their children will never be free tomorrow.

For the nations entangled in Nigeria these sacrifices are non-negotiable.  Along with the irrepressible truth, they will be the ultimate cost of freedom.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Nigerians And The Burdens of History

Adeola Aderounmu

Nigerians are watching and listening as political schemers start or continue to test the political field once again.

I looked at all the candidates and it is hard to see any of them that should not be rotting away in prison.

Nigeria and Nigerians are saddled with the burdens of history-that constantly deny the truth.

We know who these men and women are. We know how they ruined the country.

They killed, maim, got drunk at the altar of power and they left devastating effects on our lives. They stole or they continue to steal. They gamble and struggle for power then and now.

Elections and elections’ results remain the most important single factor affecting progress and development in Nigeria. I have argued about this elsewhere (see my blog for details).

In 2011 history will repeat itself in Nigeria. This is not the first time I’m sending signals about things to come in Nigeria. It takes no prophetic ability to interpret these clear signals. It takes amazing and enormous stupidity to ignore them and pretend that everything is alright.

The Nigerian 2011 elections are disasters waiting to happen. How can we conduct credible elections without proper identification schemes? In my previous blog entry I have explained these things in details.

Fake identity cards are common all over the world. This means that there will be loads of opportunities to cheat in the forth coming elections in Nigeria. I have expressed my fears about this, how it will play out and how rigging, violence and bitterness will dominate the elections.

History will again repeat itself in Nigeria, probably more fatal. I’m not a pessimist. I try to place reasons above emotions at all time. I succeed for the most.

When you expect Nigerians to rise up and defend the good, they are no where to be found.

The ways we do things are just wrong. The reason for the failure of the followership is also attributable to greed, selfishness and the “cut corner / get-rich-quick” syndrome. Our methodology and approaches to issues are sources of concerns to global observers.

Why are thieves, looters, murderers and useless people campaigning on national televisions when they should be serving terms for their atrocities? I don’t get it.

We are standing on the wrong side of history. We are no where near the truth. It is ironical because Nigeria probably has the largest number of churches and mosques in the world. This is classical case of religion gone astray. We are far from the truth, we are all hypocrites. We confirm that there is no relationship whatsoever between how people call the name of their gods and their abilities to apply the right sense of judgement. Vanity upon vanity..!

It beats me that prominent people (if they are out there somewhere) and the rest of us are watching and saying nothing about the impossible task facing INEC. We don’t need elections in 2011. What we need is the re-structuring of the entire process/ machinery that will give way to successful elections in Nigeria. What about the horse before the cart?

Let us stop and think for a while. We may be able to reason together. Our lives remain in our hands.

NIGERIAN PRESIDENCY, AS CONFUSED AS EVER

Adeola Aderounmu

Nigerian presidency is the most ridiculous institution in Nigeria. If you want to know why Nigeria is usually disorganized in many things look no further than the seat of power. It is so true yet unbelievable. It took so long before Goodluck Jonathan could be given the mantle to lead Nigeria.

When he was supposed to get out and lead the people, he sat in Aso rock receiving local and international visitors. All the former corrupt rulers came to him. What do they want? Were they paid for the visit? That is a possibility in the Nigeria that I knew.

Goodluck has spent the entire period of his reign as acting president, no matter how short it is, to talk, receive people and did almost nothing like going out and leading. We have no leaders and our heroes are dead.

Now check this out. Military personnel were deployed to the streets of Abuja without the knowledge of Goodluck Jonathan. Mr Jonathan had no knowledge that Yar Adua was to be smuggled into the country at midnight of 23rd Feb 2010. All the actions and activities that brought back Yar Adua is an ambulance were unknown to Goodluck Jonathan.

The Nigerian presidency is a divided house. It is in disarray and believe it or not Nigerians are in trouble. The sufferings and poverty in the country are nowhere near being tackled. Nigeria is now a confirmed field for fight for political supremacy and winners takes all. Probably the Winner will stand alone like in Paulo Coelho’s book.

How can the acting president not know about the “smuggling in” of the fake president who left 90 days ago on “AWOL”? There are fundamental issues that threaten the corporate existence of Nigeria.

These issues are serious and they bring to the fore once again that Nigeria is not a united country. Those who say that Nigeria is a geographical region are perfectly correct. It is a region that the winner plunders and takes home the profit.

If the presidency is so disorganized, selfish, wicked and corrupt, it means we are still in a hopeless situation. Who is going to explain why Goodluck Jonathan, the man who is supposed to be in charge of Nigeria, was not aware of military personnel being deployed across the streets of Abuja?

Who ordered the provision of security for the return of Yar Adua? Why was the security measure necessary? Was there any risk to the return of Yar Adua? Why is Yar Adua in an ambulance? Why was the light put out on his ambulance air plane? What is all these secretive moves and rubbish all about? What is the purpose of all these devilish maneuvers?

If Goodluck could be caught off guards on security measures, we can now understand the spate of political assassinations in Nigeria. We can get a picture of the unending riots in Jos and other parts of Northern Nigeria. We can have an idea of how one Muttalab could sneak around with bomb in his pants. We can understand our collective grief when people like Dipo Dina and all the defenders of human rights and freedom of speech have been gunned downed in broad day light.

All these things are linked and interwoven to make our lives complex and complicated. They add to the problems and obstacles that we face. They dim our hopes and blur our aspirations.

The political situation in Nigeria today is a “heart breaker”. It calls for urgent measures. Where do we go from here? How do we get out of the dilemma. The presidency is confused and in disarray, where is our hope?

The BBC Story on Nigerian Police

Adeola Aderounmu

The BBC yet again found another weak spot in Nigeria. The Police. It is up to the Nigerian Police to defend its integrity. How it goes about that is left to the authorities affected. I have done one or two pieces before on the Nigerian Police and I must confess that there was nothing new in that BBC story of December 8 2009.

There is a story that I always made reference to when it concerns how police kill innocent people in Nigeria. In 1995/ 96 while I was doing my youth service in Oyo State I lived on a street where Akinyele Local Government was/is situated. That is Moniya in Ibadan. At that time I was working at IITA in Ibadan as a youth corp member.

I lived directly opposite the local government and inside the premises of the local government was Moniya Police Station. It happened that in the middle of the night (almost every night) I usually hear loud noises that woke me up from my sleep. One day I had to ask my landlord’s son what the noise was all about.

He told me that I should ignore the sound and try to sleep because the police are doing their work-which is executing the robbers in the cell. He said they do that to avoid congestion in the cells. He told me that the bodies would be thrown into a famous river before day break. He told me this casually as if it was a normal thing. Going by its regularity, it was normal. I was shocked. From that day till the end of my service year I usually look closely at the police officers. As in they smile and go about like normal people but I actually thought they are crazy to be executing robbers at night.

That story plus all the other experiences about Police story that I’ve known before made me to dread the police like hell. I mean when I’m close to police officers with guns, I comply with whatever they say 100% because they can pull their triggers at anytime and you are dead. When I started driving in Lagos, every policeman was “Oga sir”! Many of them have red eyes and are invariably drunk. When a police man is pointing a loaded gun at you and ask you for 20 naira, I don’t think you want to mess around. Any dead citizen will be reported as armed robber to cover for atrocities. The BBC story is largely true.

But the Nigerian Police is just a product of a system that is decayed. The former inspector general of Police Tafa Balogun stole and looted police funds. Under Obasanjo billions of naira disappeared to his friends and family rather than the trust fund that was meant for the development of the police force. No one has been prosecuted, no one will be prosecuted. In Nigeria, you can loot and go. It’s your part of the so called National cake. A national tragedy as a matter of fact.

As mentioned above the police is just a product of a decayed system. Our politicians do not get anything fixed except their personal bank accounts and their homes/ future. They steal, they loot and they mismanage everything. Education, infrastructure, sports, health and so on. Just name anything, we have used nepotism, tribalism, corruption, and a form of madness called national character to destroy the fabrics and foundation of this (once upon a time) great nation.

The police have no modern gadgets and equipment to fight crime. They are usually overwhelmed by armed robbers who are more sophisticated. The Nigerian Police have inadequacies in everything! Patrol vehicles are probably too few and even the number of police / 000 citizens will shock anyone. I don’t know the statuses of the kinds of people employed by the police force. With Characters like Tafa Balogun, Mike Okiro and now one Onovo, the road is too long.

Police brutality and abnormalities are not peculiar to Nigeria but I’m a Nigerian blogger so I care less about the corrupt Russian police, the aggressive US Police or the lazy Scandinavian police. My attention is on Nigerian Police at this moment and I feel so sorry for them in a way. I mean their salaries are extremely poor and nothing to write home about. By setting up road blocks and begging for money instead of controlling, preventing or fighting crimes, Nigerian police is the apex of ridicule. They ask for money in the open and they tell you they have families at home.

This is the same country where one man will sit in his office and steal 12 billions dollars. A local government chairman will build houses and estate across the country. The senate president is a well known corrupt man, a thief in plain language. Name one prominent politician in Nigeria that is not a thief! So you see you can’t blame it all on the police, they see their bosses stealing. They see ordinary politicians amassing wealth overnight and with their poor salaries they set up road blocks to help their pockets. In fact, they give returns to their bosses who are sitting with their pot bellies in their office. How many police boss in Nigerian can chase a robber?

When it is election time the evil parties will connive with police to steal ballot boxes or to threaten voters so that elections can be rigged as planned. The Nigerian Police is at the mercy of the way the country is organised. Indeed all/ ordinary Nigerians are at the mercy of a certain evil force ruling the country. I have stated several times that in Nigeria we are in a dilemma: which problem/s do we solve first? How are we going to go about the rebuilding of this failed country?

For sure our politics and the corruption that have ruined the country will be an ideal suggestion. If we get it right politically, maybe we will succeed to elect the right people to lead us. Maybe we will be able to fight corruption for real and prosecute thieves and looters. Maybe our judiciary will work and then the police do not become the prosecutor, judge and executors? Just maybe!

Maybe when our politics is right, our education will pick up again, maybe our infrastructure will improve. Maybe we will build our roads, make our refineries work, create employment opportunities that will reduce the rising spate of armed robbery and assassinations. Maybe!

Maybe we will be proud as a people and eschew bitterness and hatred. One day I hope we will take out all the round pegs in square holes and chose the people who are upright, discipline and selfless to lead us.

Just maybe one day, the police and the rest of us will be doing what we are suppose to be doing and be really proud to be doing so. Until such a time when some of these dreams come true, no one should expect decrease in the number of unnecessary deaths from police miscarriage of judgement, from preventable diseases, from road accidents, from assassinations, from reckless driving and other man made atrocities in Nigeria. Imagine that we have lived 2 years with a fake president who is cooling off in a Saudi Arabian hospital while the rest of us including the police can go to hell! What a shameless man..!

reference: BBC on Nigerian Police

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