Professor Iyorwuese Hagher
(Presidential Aspirant Nigeria 2019)


I am Iyorwuese Hagher. I have a dream of being the next Nigerian president in 2019 that will, by God’s power, usher in Nigeria’s golden age of prosperity for all. I hold this self-evident truth that no country can survive if it is not built on freedom and justice. I am very pleased to offer you my plan of action to build a new and greater Nigeria that all Nigerians desire but which in reality is yet to materialize. I feel qualified to write this manifesto and offer myself as the next president of Nigeria who has acquired through experience and learning, the art of servant leadership and a strong political will capable of building a new and greater Nigeria. I have legislative, executive and diplomatic experiences: as senator, twice a cabinet minister and twice Nigeria’s ambassador to Mexico and Canada; besides being a tenured professor of three decades. I have experienced the pain of being a Nigerian at home and being a Nigerian in the diaspora. My insider/outsider perspectives bring in this manifesto; my dream of a Nigeria that becomes one of the greatest nations on earth, united with a common world view, where faith and ethnic diversity is a blessing and no longer a curse or divisive factor. Nigeria’s greatness will manifest when we are corruption free, respect the rule of law, build wealth and prosperity, and become an inclusive society led by visionary servant leaders. This grassroots’ manifesto is offered as roadmap and guidepost to that destination. It embodies declarations of my political principles, values, objectives and perspectives of my life and the Nigerian presidency when elected in 2019.

I seek to be president on behalf of those whose lives have been shattered, those who live in the midst of poverty, squalor and extreme violence; as well as those who have empty pockets because they have been denied the right to education, work, electricity, health, food security, clean water and even denied the right to live! I seek for all Nigerians a life of dignity and freedom. I stand as counter-weight to the other politicians who have joined the oppressor class and are now engaged in re-colonizing the citizens of Nigeria through anti-people policies and toxic leadership. Politics is, to me, a struggle for liberation of all Nigerian groups who are held as captives and struggle in vain to live the type of lives they dreamed and wished for. I seek a peaceful revolution of hope for the poor and the downtrodden, the marginalized, the bystanders and those who have presence but no voice to express their presence. This revolution will restructure the country and usher in a new political culture and new politics, where we collectively harness the best ideas from the rest of the world and from our traditions and cultures create a Nigeria where the elite and citizens live with the same rights and privileges and engage in patriotic struggles every day to make Nigeria better.


“It is clear that those who ruined the country for decades have no solution to the national problems they created. Even worse they have no consciousness of their deficiencies.” Patrick Wilmot 2007.

The above quotation from my former University lecturer Dr. Wilmot, aptly captures my mindset as I set out to write this Grassroots’ Manifesto. ‘Project Nigeria’ is not working! For almost six decades, a small elite has ruled Nigeria with virtually no clear ideology except the ideology of corruption, which has become so pervasive and endemic. This corruption corroded everything it came in contact with so much so that all institutions that should uphold governance became tainted. Nothing has changed in Nigeria’s poor political culture from the first coup de tat that needlessly ended the country’s first ever attempt to be a self governing democratic republic in 1966, to the present 2018. It has been one set of bad leadership after another. Every new set of leaders considered their tenure as their party group’s turn to chop. Giving the reasons why they executed their bloody coup that ended the First Republic and pushed Nigeria into a civil war and almost thirty years of military dictatorship, Ifeajuna cited in Ezeani (2016) said, “When corruption was criticized, more corruption appeared; when it was said that salaries were too high for a particular group like legislators – their salaries would be raised.” Like in the 60s, this is exactly what is happening now after almost six decades of democracy. We desperately need new ideas to re-imagine a better country in order to rebuild it. This manifesto attempts to answer to this need.

For the past 58 years, Nigeria has squandered its oil wealth through massive corruption. We have failed to develop infrastructure for the World’s fastest growing population because of poor leadership, bad social policy framework and bad governance. The cost of managing the Nigerian economy is greater than its productive base. Three million public servants, comprising the Federal, State and Local governments, political office holders and Federal Legislators consume 70 % of the total revenue, leaving little to nothing to develop a modern infrastructure. Yet, 70% of Nigerians live below poverty line. The lifespan of a Nigerian is 54 years, compared to the world’s average of 71years. We have the largest number of children (13 million children) not enrolled in any school. Human and infrastructural developments are trending downwards despite decades of oil revenue. Poverty is pervasive for the rest of the 189 million Nigerians. Apart from the general poverty and feeling of despair, the country is badly divided on ethnic and religious identities. The Nigerian State has proved incapable of protecting life and property. Armed robberies, kidnappings and assassinations are so rampant and insecurity is very high. Nigeria is fast acquiring the dubious reputation of being the most risky country to live in the World and is dangerously on the brink of state collapse!

It has become apparent that the resilient Nigerians have traded their freedom and rights for a democracy that is merely a charade. They have been effectively enslaved and colonized by a ruthless ruling elite that is engrossed in their unenlightened self-interest. The elite in government and the private sector have the same motivations: selfish accumulation through corrupt incentives, fame and power. It is these individuals in government who ought to have charted the path of using state power for eradicating poverty, inequity and promoting development. They did nothing except promote poverty, inequity and underdeveloped the country. Nigeria is fast approaching its twilight as a failed state due to its failure to respect the human rights of citizens, the rule of law, pluralism, accountability and anti-corruption. Now, marauding terrorist groups of religious extremists and herdsmen scour the hinterland wrecking havoc in chilling and gruesome killings while the Nigerian State looks on, confused, profoundly incapable and in comatose. This drift must end. Nigeria must be saved. A peaceful revolution has become compelling, necessary and inevitable. I accept the responsibility to birth it with your support. This manifesto provides a grassroots people-centered action plan.


National Unity
• Implement a people-driven restructuring of Nigeria’s political, fiscal economic, security and social architecture and the Nigerian mindset.
• Build and sustain strong institutions of state to guarantee: justice, freedom and equity.
• Celebrate shared history, establish and celebrate national symbols and icons.

• Will take Lion Share of annual budget and/or exceeding 26% of annual budget.
• Provide government support to all, to attain their highest educational aspirations through the establishment of Education Bank.
• Federal Ministry of Education will have limited functions in running schools and universities.
• Private Educational institutions will also enjoy government support, in grants, and low-interest loans.

Youth Development and Empowerment
• The education of all Nigerian youth to the highest levels of their capacity is our goal. Youth presence and voice will be promoted in all government business.
• We will provide a robust ICT infrastructure around the nation to open space for youth connectivity to global knowledge resources.
• STEMP will be deployed to offer the youth a deep understanding of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and philosophy, to develop a scientific mindset anchored on ethics.

Deepening Democracy
• Redeem the people from a political order where the “Big man” is more important than ideology, to one where ideology is more important than the “Big man”.
• We will protect our democracy from being usurped by the rich and powerful that seek to enslave the rest.
• Our society will be reconstructed on law and order and respect for others and their views.
• Nigerians living abroad will have the right to vote in Nigerian federal elections.
• Develop strong institutions of state with an efficient and modern bureaucracy.

Economic Development
• Economic development is meaningless if it does not mean developing the human beings. Government will invest in robust infrastructure and develop industrial agriculture, tourism and solid minerals to provide jobs.
• We will defend the Nigerian people from the harsh effects of deaf and dumb market neo-liberalism.
• We will close the gap of income disparity between the rich and poor.
• Increase the revenue formula for derivation and guarantee environmental security for resource exploration.

• The country will provide health to all citizens as their human rights.
• The National Health Insurance Scheme will be expanded and strengthened to provide coverage to the most vulnerable in society.
• Diagnostic laboratories will be fully equipped by government in each senatorial area to give the citizens proper diagnostic tools.
• Develop Nigeria’s health system to become a medical tourism hub for Africa.

Foreign Policy
• Will be anchored on the pillar of Nigeria’s rapid domestic development as key to all foreign policy objectives.
• Key into cultural diplomacy as tool for promoting our cultural diversity and strategic national asset.
• Strive for Permanent Membership of the United Nation’s Security Council.
• Promote FDI as economic diplomacy.

• We will produce enough food to be self-sufficient and attain food security.
• Instigate an agricultural revolution with agricultural research and mechanization and birth a successor generation of farmers to rescue Nigeria from looming disaster.
• Stop malnutrition among the rural and urban poor, with signature education programs and implementation of food barns and food kitchens for the poor and handicapped.
• Enhance agricultural production by creating a value chain with food processing capacity.

• Instigate an energy revolution to provide energy infrastructure to the nation and for future development.
• Government must provide incentives for effective, accessible, and sustainable power sources.
• Develop Thermal, Solar and Nuclear plants as addition to the generation capacity.

• Provide infrastructure for effective industrialization.
• Build a peaceful enabling environment for Industrialization.
• Promote good governance and Foreign Direct Investment.

Crime and Punishment.

• There is no duty more important or more compelling of a Nigerian Government that is functioning, than the protection of lives and property of citizens.
• Strengthen the criminal justice system and institutions to enforce and provide adequate security of lives and property.
• All behavior that violates the constitution, laws and norms of society and offend the collective conscience of Nigerians will be deterred, sanctioned and punished.

Gender Equality
• Strive for gender parity in the political life of the nation
• Promote and incentivize girl-child education
• Sanction all forms of discriminations and abuse of the Nigerian woman in homes, schools and workplaces.

• Build new multi-lane highways across all states in the nation.
• Takeover state roads where the states have failed to maintain them.
• Build interstate rail network connecting all the states by rail.
• Introduce rail franchises to encourage private sector investment.

• Incentivize the leaders of the major religions to find appropriate references from their body of sacred texts to build peace, tolerance and mutual peaceful co-existence.
• Guarantee for all Nigerians the freedom to worship any god of their choice, as enshrined in section 13 of our constitution.
• Anticipate and prevent religious crises and sanction perpetrators.



Never since the civil war has Nigeria been so divided. Today ethnicity colors all actions and only very few people pay loyalty to the Nation before their ethnic group. There is so much anger and despair because successive Nigerian leadership failed to be nation builders and failed to address the many grudges and divisive grievances that abound and some existed since 1914 when Nigeria became one political entity. I intend through diplomacy and tack, to bring together a divided country whose loyalties to religion, ethnicity and greed has set us apart. I will build unity by obliterating the primordial loyalties to tribes and instead provide a new template based on justice and equity for all. All grievances by all groups will be addressed and all reports of Judicial and investigative commissions not released will be released and recommendations acted upon. Our government will undertake truth and reconciliation commissions armed with a national ideology of grassroots bottom up development model, where we are united in our differences. We will collectively face security challenges as Nigerians and not pull away to breed terrorists, ethnic supremacists, and bullies who advocate violence and genocide on others. We will as one people decide and rein in our religious differences and collectively curb the propensity of zealots who misappropriate religions and creeds for vicious ends.


According to H.G Wells “the human history becomes a race between education and catastrophe” Education will take a lion share of our budget. The APC led government has drastically underfunded education by voting a mere 7% of the annual budget, which is far less than the UNESCO minimum of 26%. Nigeria has the highest number of out of school age children out of school estimated at 13 million. The provision of education will be treated as a human rights issue. We believe that withholding education from anybody is a tragedy not only for the person but the society at large. We will establish connection and linkages between education, human capital development and the global knowledge economy. We will provide education to all Nigerians to the highest levels with government support. Any Nigerian that wishes to engage his mind intellectually will be able to do so with government support. An Education Bank will be established during my first hundred days in office, as additional incentive to provide robust support in investing in educational infrastructure, and loans for higher education. The school and tertiary education curriculum will be diversified to ensure relevance to national demands for scientific breakthroughs and knowledge economy as well as to strengthen national unity and a national identity. Government will enhance the building of research centers around the country that will engender applied research, research and development and innovation so that we will make a quantum leap and educate our teeming youth to lead the world in the nearest future.


Nigerian youth are the most valuable resource and our comparative advantage over many nations with shrinking populations. The education of all Nigerian youth to the highest levels of their capacity is our goal. We will provide a robust ICT infrastructure around the nation to open space for youth connectivity to global knowledge resources. STEMP will be deployed to offer the youth a deep understanding of science technology engineering mathematics and philosophy to develop a scientific mindset anchored on ethics. A modern infrastructure will be deployed to provide a right orientation, right mindset, and right incentives to the youth. This will engender national self-reliance on productive skills of the citizens and the diversification leading to our entry in the knowledge and innovation based economy.


Alexander Pope’s poem says it all “For all forms of government let fools contend; whatever is best administered is best.” The practice of democracy in Nigeria is a charade and badly disconnected from the original noble vision of the founding fathers. There is a need to strengthen the institutions of state and freedom of speech, the rule of law, as well as civic virtue, apart from rigorously and jealously emphasizing the separation of powers. Nigerian citizens live in fear of their rulers. This is a travesty of true democracy where the rulers should live in fear of the citizens. Our democracy should emphasize civic virtue which when esteemed by any society it flourishes. Our society should be reconstructed on law and order and respect for others and their views and inclusiveness. The people must have access to power and resources to improve their lot. We must stop the loss of public virtue where we now disbelieve and distrust ourselves. And finally, democracy must be deepened when the people are free from the coercive power of the state that seeks to enslave them through the subversion of the ballot box and the economy to make them slaves and disposable people. We seek to deepen democracy by redeeming the people from a political order where the Big-man is more important than ideology; to one where ideology is more important than the big man. Finally we must protect our democracy from being usurped by the rich and powerful that seek to enslave the rest. Respect for contracts and obligations, integrity, equality and social justice are as important as free and fair elections, the rule of law and credible institutions. Nigeria will develop closer ties with all Nigerians in the Diaspora and guarantee them equal rights with other Nigerian citizens.


The Nigerian economy is recorded as the largest economy in Africa. It is also said to be one of the fastest growing economy in the world even though it is still a middle, low-income, mixed economy and emerging market. Agriculture, Oil and Gas, Services, Transportation, Tourism, Mining, Energy, and Overseas Remittances are the main pillars upon which the economy is built. Nigeria’s economy has since 1999 leaned heavily towards the Neo-Liberal model. The market liberals have assumed control of the economy: an identifiable social elite of entrepreneurs has begun consolidating their hold and constitutes the richest 10% of the national economy. This Nigeria’s past leaders succumbed to the evil effects of neo-liberalism. Neo- liberalism is based on the philosophy in which the market and its forces are valued in themselves without any attempts to justify their effects on goods, services and on human lives. Today the economic reality is the presence of poverty that is grinding and pervasive and cruel. The neo-liberal social elite has driven income disparity and made Nigeria one of the poorest in the World. This elite is one of the richest in the World. Nigeria ranks, the 17th.richest nation and conversely the 94th poorest nation on earth. This is unacceptable. Economic development must be targeted from the grassroots up and not the other way. Economic development of GDP is meaningless if it does not mean developing the human beings. We shall defend the Nigerian people from the harsh effects of neo-liberalism. We must close the gap of income disparity between the rich and poor. Niger Delta must be protected from environmental degradation and respected with fiscal measures that give them a larger share of the oil revenue than hitherto.


The country must provide health to all citizens as their human rights. We must not only provide the best tertiary health institutions, we must aim at strengthening all health facilities. The country must provide health to all citizens as their human rights. More health institutions to train nurses and lab technologists will be built. Diagnostic laboratories must be fully equipped by government in each senatorial area to give the citizens proper diagnostic tools. The national health insurance scheme must be expanded and strengthened to provide coverage to the most vulnerable in society. It is these that are in most need to pay for their medical conditions. All citizens must be provided with the access to qualified medical personnel for periodic evaluation of their health status.


Nigeria’s Foreign policy will be anchored on the pillar of Nigeria’s rapid domestic development for Nigeria as the key to all foreign policy objectives. Foreign policy is essentially a projection of our national identity and dependent on foreign policy recognition of whom we are, what we stand for, what kind of society we are and our culture. Nigeria should be careful about the image and ideas we project abroad, because what happens on the international stage and what happens at the domestic stage have profound effects on each other. We will seek a more equitable global co-operation of nations and Nigeria’s inclusion in the United Nation’s Security Council.


Agriculture relates to the first need of man, food. We must produce enough food to be self-sufficient and also develop industrial agricultural that develop livestock management and promote general agriculture. Presently a majority of Nigerians are not food secure and malnutrition is eating up the rural and urban poor. This is caused by socio-economic and political environment in Nigeria. We will stop malnutrition among the rural and urban poor, with signature education programs and implementation of food barns and food kitchens for the poor and handicapped. Subsistence farming is dying with nothing in place to replace it. Insecurity of land tenure, scarcity of funds and credit, labor scarcity despite high unemployment, a stagnant technology, and changing ecology and clueless leadership are killing agriculture. Desertification is looming with rising temperatures and sea levels. Unless we urgently stop this drift to chaos agriculture will become severely degraded and conflicts, wars, and genocide will become exacerbated and escalating. Nigeria is presently the 7th most populated country in the World with a population of 194,858,313 people. With current production growth rate it cannot feed the coming population, which will be in most part urban based. We will instigate an agricultural revolution and birth a successor generation of farmers to rescue Nigeria from looming disaster.


Corruption and poor choices in energy sources and management have crippled Nigeria. There is no energy to power the needs of the worlds 7th largest population. Power and energy are the backbone of any modern economy. As the population growth expands. We are facing looming disaster unless we quickly instigate a revolution in the power sector. Government will provide incentives for effective, accessible, and sustainable power sources. We will seek to establish urgently, a nuclear power plant, in addition to harnessing geo-thermal, wind and abundant solar energy resources.


The Independence of Nigeria is nothing without the Nigerian citizens taking charge of a robust manufacturing capacity. Manufacturing is a significant contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It creates employment, increases income, enhances technological innovation and adoption and enhances economic growth. Manufacturing will stimulate the domestic economy and tackle several problems. Unfortunately Nigeria does not have the required infrastructure for effective industrialization due to very high cost of production. The oil sector is the main industry. Threats to Nigeria’s rapid industrialization are mainly due to very high cost of production, but also political unrests, sabotage, poor maintenance and management problems. My government will eliminate these threats through good governance, transparency, and equity and create a robust and enabling environment for Foreign Direct Investments.


The prevalent climate of lawlessness is unacceptable. Terrorists, armed robbers, kidnappers, arsonists, Corruption and abuse of human rights are rampant. Living in Nigeria is a risky affair. Crime and its punishment are essential to life in a modern state. It is critical to the harmony and peaceful co-existence of Nigerians. There is no duty more important or more compelling of a Nigerian Government that is functioning than the protection of lives and property of the citizens. The rule of law must be evenhanded and protect the rich and strong as well as the weak and poor alike in order to build a society where Nigerians can pursue their interests without hindrance from other citizens. My government will strengthen the criminal justice system and institutions to enforce and provide adequate security of lives and property. All behavior that violates the constitution, laws and norms of society and offend the collective conscience of Nigerians will be deterred, sanctioned and punished.


The history of this country can never be complete without the celebration of the contributions of the Nigerian woman. Sadly enough our patriarchal society has locked out half of our humanity, the women, out of decision-making. All of my life, I have watched with dismay the inability of the Nigerian women to fully express their dreams and hopes. For many women their dreams became nightmares even as children and girls. My desire is to bring freedom: space, voice and visibility to those lives denied full expression and forced to live on the margins of society. In order to build a wholesome and life expanding community men and women must unite to fight the exploitative society they have created together. The women cannot do this alone. Indeed, the enemies of gender parity in this struggle are not just, patriarchal males, or those women who have been pathetically socialized into indolence and acceptance of subordination, but also those who are tantalized by feminist western ideologies that deny the noble attributes of the female. We are all equally guilty. We seek to provide a political platform for the Nigerian woman to have a say and influence on happenings in their lives and create a consciousness that men and women can all do history together.

It is important to situate my agenda of gender parity to the global phenomena where women have taken on far greater leadership roles in society and outpaced men at universities in nearly all developed nations. It is clear that the future will be decidedly more female. Nigerian women should not be left out. Keeping them down pulls the country down and denies us half the national capacity.


The Nigerian roads infrastructure has suffered greatly from neglect, under investments and shoddy contract implementation due to corruption for several decades. Our roads have become death traps and a security challenge. We will expand all Federal roads by building multi lane highways in all the states of the federation, from east to west, from north to south. We will empower the Road Maintenance Agencies to maintain both federal and state roads. We will engage the private sector with PPI Investment Schemes to finance road construction projects. We will also set a new standard on road constructions across the nation. This new standard would be based on building roads that have a 50 to 100 year lifespan. We will do this by using iron rods and cement for the foundation of the roads with the top strata being bitumen/coal tar. These road construction activities would engage our youth by providing employment. We will also regulate the weight of trailers and heavy goods vehicles by introducing weighbridges.

Our railways have also been neglected and ignored for decades since the seventies. We will connect every state to a functioning and dependable rail network as a political and social necessity to foster unity, build the economy and give the youth space to interconnect and excel. We will have Monorails in the big cities and standard gauge rails connecting all state capitals. We will set up rail franchises and invite foreign investments into our rail network. These franchises would operate by being predominantly owned by private sector with the government holding a minor stake. We will make rail travel affordable for the masses. This area as well, will create employment for our youth, as they will be employed as maintenance technicians, drivers, conductors, guards, and ticket agents with other associated industries.


“It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god, if he neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” Thomas Jefferson.

The state of affairs outlined above by Jefferson is the ideal state for a plural diverse, multi-ethnic polity with two dominant religions and myriads of other faiths. Nigeria has the rare opportunity to showcase to the world a rare spirit of accommodation between Muslims and Christians. I believe that the clergy of both faiths could be incentivized for peaceful co-existence to find appropriate references from their body of sacred literature to build, peace, and tolerance and mutual peaceful co-existence.

Meanwhile, religion is killing Nigeria. This is so odious, reprehensible, and unacceptable. Extremist religious identities have engaged Nigeria in moral bigotry, dubious assumptions and hubristic religious crises. Religion is an important regulator and promoter of ethical conduct, if religious beliefs are gilded in reason and law to prevent a breakdown of law and order and human rights abuse. Our beautiful cities like Kaduna and Jos now boldly wear permanent scars of religious crises as Muslims and Christians live apart in uneasy calm as if anticipating an imminent blood bath! Nigeria under my watch will obliterate religious cleavages and guarantee for all Nigerians the freedom to worship any gods of their choice or no god. We shall expect Islamic and Christian clergy to join hands to provide the sacred theology with each to outdo each other in building love and peace.


The backwardness of Nigeria is mainly due to poor leadership and a leadership recruitment process where leaders emerge in an arbitrary manner without leadership qualities that can sustain the buffeting of a modern state in the 21st Century. Since the return to democracy after over three decades of military dictatorship, ascension to the office of the president has been the choice of a few share holders to the Nigerian project comprising godfathers, governor’s forum, retired generals and “money-bags”. In this process, we have been saddled with a portfolio of presidents that got elected without the consent of the people and without any plans to identify the problems of the country or solutions. Often such presidents wallow in nepotism, and depend entirely on advice from foreigners to give ideas to them to run the country. Others abdicate and wallow in the power as president but adamantly refuse to take responsibility and instead blame the opposition, foreigners or some phantom enemies for all problems created by such a president and the ruling elite. Such presidents identify with their ethnic and religious group members whom they trust to the exclusion of others. Governance becomes a family affair and others are shut out. Great ideas to run the country are now in short supply and demagoguery sets in along with stagnation in all sectors.

This manifesto is made in the spirit that the Constitution of Nigeria is a much-flawed ultimate law of the land. The critical sections that express human freedom are not justiciable! There is need to restructure Nigeria by amending those sections of the constitution that are inadequate or anti-people and offend the development of the grassroots. Issues relating to citizenship, federalism, the devolution of powers and others need to be renegotiated and agreed upon. This personal manifesto, the constitution (as will be amended) and the party manifesto, will determine my vision of a re-imagined Nigeria with a greater or deeper solution to Nigeria’s grassroots challenges. Our people must no longer live like animals when the rest of the World is providing a better life for their people!

This personal manifesto is also my social contract with the Nigerian voters. I have offered in these pages, my vision and action plan to make Nigeria a truly great nation that will be the pride of Africa, the African diaspora and all progressive nations of the world. I see the dawn of a new future for Nigeria. It is a beautiful Nigeria where the united people of one Nigeria will lead the world with new ideas and ways of nation building that utilize the best ideas globally with the best local wisdom. Nigeria under my leadership will be a new highly developed, most peaceful and beautiful country.

May the Almighty God help us to build a better and greater Nigeria, where: LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS is guaranteed! Support Hagher to be president of Nigeria 2019, for together we will change our World.

Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher
Presidential Aspirant
April 27, 2018.

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