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El-Rufa’i tasks political office holders on people-oriented projects

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Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State, on Wednesday, urged political office holders to undertake projects that would add value to human capacity development.

The governor gave the charge while speaking at the celebration of the one year in office of Mr Elias Manza, Chairman of Zangon Kataf Local Government council.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the celebration was held at the Government Girls’ College, Zonkwa.

El Rufa’i, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs Hadiza Balarabe, said that his administration’s focus was on reforms and other programmes targeted at meeting the yearnings and aspirations of the people.

“I urge political office holders to key into providing an enabling environment to create avenues for our people to have quality education and healthcare delivery amongst other life-impacting ventures,’’ he said.

The governor enjoined the people of Zangon Kataf to continue to support government’s programmes in order to enhance sustainable development.

“The completed projects will, no doubt, impact positively on the socio-economic well-being of the people, which is one of the government’s statutory responsibilities,’’ he said.

El Rufa’i congratulated the council chairman on the strides recorded and urged the residents to continue to support the present administration to allow for meaningful development.

In his address, Manza thanked the governor for the opportunity given him to serve the people and for the cooperation he had enjoyed in the last one year.

“Today also provides the opportunity for us to present the record of our achievements, including the projects that had been executed in the last one year.

“The over 62 projects included those that were inherited but which have now been completed.

“We have every reason to be accountable and equitable in the discharge of our mandate, irrespective of the challenges,’’ Manza said.

He sought for continuous support from the state government, saying that some projects were beyond the capacity of the local government to undertake.

The chairman particularly cited the uncompleted Ungwan-Wakili road, provision of educational facilities, especially in primary schools and the welfare of district heads, amongst others.

“Some of these needs are beyond the capacity of the local government,’’ Manza stressed.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the occasion, Mr Andrew Yakubu, lauded the pedigree and wealth of experience of the council chairman.

Yakubu, a former Group Managing Director of NNPC, enjoined residents, particularly youths in the council area, to be patient with the present administration.

He said “I was gladdened and challenged when the chairman told me that one of his targets was to empower 3,000 youths with various skills for self reliance’’.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Manza had, in the last one year, constructed primary healthcare centres at Kwankwano as well as culverts at various locations within the council area.

He also undertook electrification projects, constructed home cconomics centres and bridges, paid examination fees for students and engaged youths in various skill acquisition programmes, among other projects.
MGK/COF/WAS

Editing by Oluyinka Fadare and ‘Wale Sadeeq

 

 

 

General news

Community leader lauds El-Rufai for banning “Almajiri school”

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Alhaji Uba Aliyu, a community leader in Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna, has lauded Gov. Nasir el-Rufai for banning Almajiri children (Islamic school pupils) in the state.

Aliyu made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , in Kaduna on Sunday.

He said the development would complement the state government’s child protection and welfare law.

“Times changed, Almajiri is no longer the same as it was in the past; it is high time for parents to own up to their responsibility and enroll their wards to Quranic school in their immediate environment.

“We are witness to how the Almajiri children, expected to be in school were wandering the streets begging and scavenging for food,” he said

Aliyu added that the evacuation and return of the children to their parents would help in monitoring their education and general well being.

He advocated for the restructuring of the Almajiri school to be in tune with modern day realities, to protect the children and enable them to learn the Qur’an.

NAN reports that Gov. El-Rufai had announced plans to enroll 200 evacuated Almajiri children into the formal system in their respective communities.

The state government also proscribed Almajiri school and stipulated a two-year jail term for erring parents who enroll their children in Almajiri school while defaulting itinerary teachers are to face similar penalty with a fine of between N100, 000 and N200, 000.

Edited By: Angela Okisor (NAN)

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Defence/Security

El-Rufai decries spate of banditry in Northwest

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Gov. Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has expressed grief over the high spate of banditry in the Northwest.

El-Rufai told State House correspondents on Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, that his visit was to find a lasting solution to the problem.

He said, however, that Nigerian security agencies have been doing their best to contain the menace.

The Sokoto story only hit the headlines just a few days ago, but in Zamfara, in Kaduna, in Niger, in Katsina, this banditry has become a northwestern scourge and we have been battling it with the support of the military.

“We are very grateful to the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigerian Army and in our own particular case, even the Navy has been holding fort Southern Kaduna.

“We have been dealing with this issue and our concern now is with the operations in Sokoto and Zamfara.

“Many of the bandits will move to Kaduna; this is part of the reasons I am here, I will be meeting with the Minister of Defense and the Service Chiefs to try to get more military activities, some operations to be strengthened.’’

El-Rufai said that banditry would affect agriculture unless it was dealt with.

He said that the Chief of Air Staff had assured him that whatever was needed to be done to wipe out the bandits and to enable farmers go to farm as the rains advanced would be done.

“ We are confident that things will get better. It is most unfortunate that we have had to deal with it in the Northwest in the same way that Boko Haram ravaged the Northeast.

“These bandits are also becoming a serious problem in the northwest; but the problem is being addressed.’’

On COVID-19 pandemic, he said that the state’s team was working very hard not to let the people down as he was very proud of the quality of the people in the team.

He said that when he was isolated for 26 days, the business of government in Kaduna State did not stop.

The governor said he was proud of the deputy governor and the work that she had done with the team.

He said that the situation was the same all over the country as all the states are all dealing with very difficult situation.

“The economy is going to go into depression; there is nothing we can do about that; revenues have collapsed; yet you still have to invest in more public health facilities.

“You have to invest in treatment; you have to invest in security and so on.

“So, it is a very difficult time to be in a leadership position and that is why the people and the leaders must all work together and for the Almighty God to end this pandemic.

“It is a major problem, but we are working together; we are a resilient nation and I am sure we will overcome,’’ he said.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Metro

El-Rufai, others laud Amaechi’s selfless service at 55

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Governors of Kaduna and Plateau States, Nasir El-Rufai and Simon Lalong, have lauded the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, for his selfless service to Nigeria, as he marked his 55th birthday.

A statement by management of the ministry, said the birthday was marked by a Zoom conference anchored by a former Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside on Wednesday.

El-Rufai praised Amaechi for his great personality which according to him, made President Muhammadu Buhari to love him in spite of all oppositions against him.

According to him, Amaechi is the first Minister in Nigeria history to hold the position of the Minister of Transportation twice and is able to achieve so much within the period due to his unique qualities of inclusiveness.

President Buhari loves Amaechi like a son, he trust him absolutely which is why in spite of all opposition, many attempts to put Amaechi in bad light, he twice selected him to lead his campaign and also as the Minister of Transportation.

“Amaechi’s key leadership quality is his sense of inclusion, he likes to bring everyone on board, he loves teamwork, he empowers people to put in their best, he doesn’t pretend to know it all or try to do everything.

“He is one of the few politicians from the Niger Delta that is Pan Nigeria.

“I think in the history of Nigeria there hasn’t been any Minister of Transportation that has being able to achieve the landmark Amaechi has achieved in a very difficult circumstances.

“I am very proud of you, am very proud to be associated with you, I am a beneficiary of your friendship, your love and your generosity.

“You have helped me alot in my campaign, you have raised money for me, you have given me ideas on how to be a better politician and I have learnt alot from you.

“I am confident that if and when Nigeria is looking for a leader that will take us to a higher level, you will be up there on the frontline among those that will be counted,” El-Rufai said.

Also, Lalong, while appreciating organisers of the zoom Conference, regretted that the birthday could not be celebrated as usual due to the pandemic.

He said: “Today I want to congratulate Amaechi. I met him in 2000 when I was lucky to be selected as a speaker, the first reception I received from him was very wonderful and I saw in him a model.

“I grew up to learn that model on how to lead the house from him, because when I came onboard as a speaker, I didn’t have much experience but my little stay with him taught me alot of things.

“I learnt how to gather people together, how to serve the people, how to be very selfless and how to accommodate everybody.

“Amaechi started the Conference of Speaker and led all the speakers as a team.

“In terms of administration, he sets a goal and ensures he achieves it. One other striking thing about him is very selfless nature, he can sacrifice anything that he has for a friend,” he said.

Lalong prayed that God continue to reward and strengthen Amaechi, adding that the sky will be his limit.

The Minister of State for Health, Mr Olorunimbe Mamora, said that he was very happy to be part of Amaechi’s 55th birthday celebration.

According to Mamora, Amaechi have had the grace of God to hold so many leadership positions from Speaker, to Governor, to Chairman Governors Forum and to Minister.

He reiterated the unique qualities that stood Amaechi out among which were selflessness, passionate, reliable, kind and a very courageous person.

Meanwhile, Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President also lauded the good qualities of Amaechi, adding that he was very happy to have met him when he (Adesina) was the President of Nigerian Guild of Editors.

“When he was a Governor, I became President of Nigeria Guild of Editors and he supported us in every way, we had many of our conferences in Port Harcourt, we had many of our standing committee meetings in Port Harcourt.

“I am glad to know you, as you turn 55, I can only wish you well, you have a long way to go politically and in the leadership position in this country, you have my wishes and support all the time,” Adesina added.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the zoom birthday conference had several distinguished personalities including musicians and Comedians to light up the day in spite of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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General news

COVID-19: Gov. El-Rufai extends Kaduna lockdown by 2 weeks

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Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai has extended the lockdown order in Kaduna State by another two weeks, the state Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe said in a statewide broadcast on Tuesday.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that residents of the state have been on lockdown for the past 60 days and there were calls for ease down of the restrictions to allow poor residents contend with the challenges of zero income and food shortages.

The deputy governor, however, said the government expects residents to abide by the COVID-19 prevention protocol, otherwise any spike in the cases would force the government to tight restrictions.

The Kaduna State Government is conscious of the sacrifices that citizens have made and the many challenges that remain in keeping them safe from COVID-19.

“This is why the state government has adjusted and extended the Quarantine Orders by two weeks to empower citizens to more steadfastly carry forward the fight against COVID-19.

“Preservation of the relaxations in this extension requires that citizens demonstrate greater compliance with laid down health protocols, particularly the wearing of face masks outside the house, observance of physical distancing, regular hand washing with soap and water and the avoidance of large gatherings.

“Violation of these protocols will compel the government to reimpose restrictions.

“A spike in Covid-19 infections will also necessitate a tightening of restrictions,” she said.

Balarabe added that the lockdown-free days have been extended to cover three days with effect from June 1.

From Monday, 1st June 2020, the revised regulations will come into effect. They give citizens a three-day window every week to shop for food and other essentials.

“Until otherwise stated, the lockdown-free days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

“Temporary neighbourhood markets will continue to operate from 10am to 4pm on these three days, but citizens can move from 6am to 6pm on these lockdown-free days.

“Informal markets are not allowed and those flouting regulations by turning streets into markets are advised to stop.

“The adjusted orders also expand the ability of citizens to resume the pursuit of livelihoods in permitted sectors subject to compliance with health and safety protocols, including physical distancing.

“Private sector firms that meet these requirements will also operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

“This window also allows vulcanisers, welders, mechanics and providers of similar services to operate on the same days.”

She however reiterated that the prohibition of interstate and intercity travel remained in force.

“Government officials and mobile courts will enforce this ban to prevent people from spreading the virus through non-essential movement.

“In addition, the night time curfew that has been enforced across the state still remains, from 6pm to 6am.

“Schools, places of worship and markets will remain closed under the adjusted orders.

“The relevant government officials and agencies will be engaging with religious leaders, transport unions, traditional institutions, market unions, school proprietors and other stakeholders as may be identified from time to time, to discuss the conditions and circumstances for a safe reopening of these sectors.”

The deputy governor said that restaurants would be allowed to open “strictly to offer takeaway services.”

“However, bars, sporting venues and event centres remain closed as are hotels that have not been specifically licensed as essential service providers during this period.”

According to her, Kaduna State has so far conducted 1,900 tests and recorded a total of 189 Covid-19 cases as at May 25.

She announced plans by the government to support low income, poor and vulnerable households and residents with some food in all the 23 local government areas “as soon as possible.”

Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Education

Kaduna Govt. will jail parents who enroll children into Almajiri system – El-Rufai

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Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State has warned that parents who enroll their children into the Almajiri education system stand the risk of prosecution and up to two years jail.

El-Rufa’i stated this in Kaduna on Monday when he visited some 200 Almajiri children repatriated from Nasarawa State and undergoing rehabilitation and optical screening at Government College, Kurmin Mashi, Kaduna.

Almajiri are children enrolled to be taught Islamic knowledge under Islamic Clerics, but who loiter on the streets with bowls begging for alms and food.

The governor also said that any Islamic cleric who enrolls any child into the Almajiri system would also be prosecuted and jailed as well as fined N100,000 or N200,000 per child.

He said that all the Almajiri pupils repatriated from other states of the country were indigenes of the state adding that the government would give them all the opportunity they deserved to grow and develop.

El-Rufai expressed satisfaction with the ongoing transformation of the Almajiri pupils from hopelessness to hope and confidence.

According to him, the state has a responsibility to do whatever it can to give them hope and a better future.

“We will, therefore, continue to take delivery of every Almajiri pupil indigenous to Kaduna state for rehabilitation, treatment and enrollment into formal school nearest to where their parents live.

“We will continue to do this until we clear Kaduna state of the menace of Almajiri system, which is not education but the abuse of the privilege and future of a child.

“Our ultimate goal is for them to acquire formal education without depriving them of the opportunity to acquire Quranic education.

“They will continue their Quranic education but under the care of their parents and not under someone who does not know them or paid to look after them.”

He explained that the Ministry of Human Services and Social Development (MHSSD), along with UNICEF would closely monitor them and ensure that no child would leave his locality until he finished primary and junior secondary school.

The governor stressed that every child in Kaduna state must get 12-year free and compulsory primary and secondary school education.

“Those that cannot proceed to senior secondary school will have the opportunity to go to vocational school, also free.

“As such, no parent has any excuse for his child not to go to school,” El-Rufa’i said.

He thanked MHSSD and other state agencies for the commitment and passion for the welfare of the children.

He equally thanked AMA foundation and other NGOs and civil societies for supporting the government to provide the Almajiri pupils with the needed medical care, food, and clothing, among others.

The governor particularly appreciated UNICEF for supporting the state government in ensuring that all the repatriated children were well documented.

El-Rufa’i said that the care and support provided had restored the sense of dignity of the children.

Also speaking, Hajiya Hafsat Baba, Commissioner, MHSSD, said that the state had so far received more than 900 Almajiri pupils from Kano, Bauchi, Plateau and Nasarawa states.

Baba said that no fewer than 500 of them were rehabilitated, treated (those who tested positive to COVID-19) and reunited with their families.

She added some 400 others were still undergoing rehabilitation and would soon be reunited with their families.

On his part, Dr Zakari Adam, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Kaduna, commended Kaduna state government for the efforts to ensure that all children go to school as against begging in the streets.

Adam reiterated UNICEF’s continued support to the state in all children-related issues such as child protection, education, and health among other areas, for uninterrupted growth and development of every child.

He stressed the need for all stakeholders, the government, civil society, parents, communities, religious and traditional leaders and the media to work together in ensuring that children acquired quality education.

Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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General news

EId-el-Fitr: El-Rufa’i commends Muslim faithfuls for obeying COVID-19 orders

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Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i on Sunday commended the patience and understanding displayed by Muslim faithfuls in observing the Ramadan fasting under conditions of quarantine this year.

El-Rufa’i made this commendation in an Eid-el-Fitr message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, and made available to newsmen in Kaduna.

The governor prayed that Almighty Allah would amply reward and bless these efforts.

He also praised the spirit of sacrifice and resilience displayed by the community during the fasting period and called for continued adherence to public health guidelines to protect citizens from COVID-19.

El-Rufa’i said that the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic had created limited the traditions associated with fasting and the celebration of Eid-el-Fitr this year.

”I thanked the Muslim community for abiding with the public health guidelines and avoiding congregational worship and communal gatherings to break the fast.

”I acknowledged that these public health guidelines also make it impossible to permit the celebration of Eid-el-Fitr with congregational prayers, and l thanked the Muslim community for understanding this.

”l commend the Imams especially and welcome this as another example of the spirit of sacrifice and discipline required to protect the community during dangerous periods.

”I appeal to the Muslim community to keep hope alive, to continue to practice compliance with health guidelines and not to relent in prayers for an end to the disruptions caused by COVID-19,” he said.

El-Rufa’i appealed also to all communities in the state to uphold peace and harmony.

 He added that all residents must observe social distancing, practice regular hand washing with soap and water, and avoid large gatherings to protect everyone from COVID-19.

The governor said that all residents must continue to comply with the terms of the quarantine orders that are enforce in the state.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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General news

Kaduna CAN urges Gov. el-Rufai to ease COVID-19 lockdown 

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State Chapter, has appealed to Gov. Nasir el-Rufai to review the lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus.

The appeal by CAN comes after an earlier call by the Council of Imams and Ulamas on the state government for a review of the lockdown.

The CAN Chairman, Rev. John Hayab, in a statement issued on Tuesday in Kaduna, appealed urged el-Rufai to consider relaxing the lockdown on Fridays and Sundays to allow both Muslims and Christians to worship in Mosques and Churches.

He expressed CAN’s belief that the relaxation of the lockdown on those days would be used by adherents of both religions to achieve positive results.

“Places of worship can organise one or two worship sessions with few worshippers while observing physical distancing.

“Places of worship can provide soap, water, and hand sanitiser for worshippers to use before and after worship,’’ he said.

According to the cleric, the leaderships of the worship centres are prepared to ensure that worshippers comply with the safety protocol recommended for the containment of the virus.

Hayab said that allowing worship places to reopen would provide the opportunity for the people to be further sensitised to the need to adhere to the protocol put in place to stop the spread of the virus.

“The coming together of worshippers could enhance the provision of food items and other necessities of life to the needy in both Churches and Mosques.

“This will unite members and enable them to share ideas on the way forward for the state and the country as a whole.

“The most important thing that we will do both as Christians and Muslims would be to offer fervent prayers in our congregations for God to intervene and deliver humankind from the COVID-19 calamity.

“The CAN, Kaduna State Chapter appreciates the tireless efforts of the state government through the State Standing Committee on COVID-19 headed by the state’s Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, for all that has been done to ensure that the spread of the deadly disease is curtailed,’’ the CAN chairman added.

He noted that since the COVID-19 lockdown, the state government through the State Standing Committee had initiated steps find a lasting solution to the spread of the pandemic.

Hayab added that the state government on its part had performed credibly through the combined efforts of health experts, security agencies, religious leaders, NGOs, and other stakeholders to cushion the effect of the pandemic.

He said that the state chapter of CAN had solidly stood behind the state government in its policies since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country, and in Kaduna state in particular.

Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Judiciary

Gov. El-Rufai swears in 4 High Court judges

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Kaduna State Governor, Nasiru El-Rufai has sworn in four newly appointed High Court Judges in the State.

Performing the swearing in on Tuesday, in Kaduna, Gov El-rufai, said that the State has been seeking for the appointment of the high court judges in the past three years.

“Though, only four were appointed, but the state requires about 20 judges to compliment the current ones, who are overworked.

“Each of our High court in the State has a minimum of 200 cases, which is too much for them to handle and therefore, affect the administration of Justice.

“To this end, the State needs more judges as we have the capacity to make their work easier with the provision of housing and vehicles, among other necessary things to make their stay memorable,” the governor said.

He, however said that the only bottleneck is the National Judicial Council bureaucracy, which unduly delay judges appointment.

“In my opinion, the NJC should only select judges for the appelate and Federal courts and leave the selection of judges for State high courts to an equivalent Council at the State level, either the State Judicial Service Commission which now appoints Magistrate or the State Judicial Council which select judges.

“I do not believe that the appointment of high court judges at the State level should be within the purview of the NJC.

“We are trying to operate a unitary judiciary when we have a Federal Executive and Legislature, this needs to be corrected,”he stressed.

NAN reports that the newly sworn in Judges are: Amina Bello, Ambo John, Rabi Oladoja and Andow Edward.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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General news

Kaduna records 2 deaths from COVID-19 – El-Rufai

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Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, on Sunday, said that the state had recorded three deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor, in a tweet from his verified official twitter handle, said that the two latest fatalities were a senior citizen from Makarfi and a lady from Zaria.
He also revealed that two more persons had tested positive, bringing the active COVID-19 cases in the state to 87.
In the tweet, released at 11.04 pm. on Saturday, the governor said that the two new cases were a male from Igabi and a female from Chikun Local Government areas of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the state recorded its first fatality on May 2, when the victim, a retired civil servant, who was said to have concealed his travel history to Kano, died before the result of his test was out.
NAN also reports that government had, last week, raised the alarm that majority of COVID-19 cases in the state had travel history and that such illegal inter-state travel was widening the spread of the virus in the state.
A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, said that illegal travels had increased the danger of community transmission.
He said that infections by the virus had now been recorded in some rural local governments, particularly those sharing boundaries with other states.
Adekeye quoted the state’s Standing Committee on COVID-19 as appealing for vigilance and active involvement of all citizens in the efforts to avert the further spread of the virus.
According to him, positive COVID-19 test results have been recorded from seven local government areas in the state.
He gave the affected local governments as Giwa, Igabi, Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Makarfi, Soba and Zaria.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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