Governor Yahaya Bello speaks to GbaramatuVoice on 2023 presidency
…Says he is ready to serve Nigerians
…Proffers solutions to Niger Delta Problems
As the drumbeats for the 2023 presidential election continue to become clear, many contenders for the number one political position – the presidency in the country have signified their interest.
And one of such aspirants is the present governor of Kogi State, Governor Yahaya Bello. In this interview with GbaramatuVoice, the Kogi political leader talks about his 2023 presidential ambition and other issues.
Yahaya Bello vowed never to stop advocating for younger generations to take over, noting that some of these leaders today are being threatened because they know that what they did in the past will come back to hunt them. He stressed that they cannot because of that stop agitating and fighting for the youth to take over.
He explained that out of all the 36 States of the Federation including FCT none is as difficult as Kogi State. He said they have a border with nine states, including FCT making it 10 states.
Yahaya Bello asserted that it will not be a difficult task for him to handle Nigeria and fix it, saying that the challenges he inherited in Kogi State is larger than that of Nigeria.
The Governor who listed some of his achievement said he is ready and prepare to rule Nigeria, affirming that by the grace of God, he shall get there.
GbaramatuVoice: Your excellency sir, so many groups and bodies including Niger Deltans have endorsed you to contest for President, what is it that they have seen in you? Did this chisels your Presidential Baton?
Governor Yahaya Bello: Thank you very much. And let me appreciate all of you and let me appreciate my viewers across the world and I thank you all.
First of all, when you are doing well and you are praised, to me, I take it as a call to do more and to be at your best at all time.
Yes, a lot of groups, a lot of associations and unions across the board in the country and even offshore, are asking me to run for President in 2023. Well, I will say it is a call for me to replicate and even do what I have done in Kogi State at the national level and what are they?
Today in the nation, there is this mutual suspicion that is leading to a lack of cohesion and integration. There is this issue of insecurity that permeates everywhere and corruption that is still festering; even Mr. President himself owned up to say fighting corruption is a Herculean task.
In Kogi state, we have been able to surmount all of these problems. We used to be more divided than what we are even experiencing today in Nigeria, along ethnics and religious lines. And you know what insecurity used to be but we brought it to a halt, and there’s peace and security in Kogi State.
There is the inclusivity of both the young, the old, and women and Kogi is on the path to development.
So possibly, that may be what they have seen in me and they are asking me to run. And my simple response is that I will not disappoint them. I will not disappoint all the groups and I will not disappoint Nigerians.
By the grace of God, I will continue to put my best till the last day I will leave as a governor in Kogi State and serve my people to the best of my ability.
GbaramatuVoice: If you are given a mandate, come 2023, what will your manifesto for the Niger Delta be like and how do you intend transforming the Niger Delta?
Governor Yahaya Bello: Well right now, first my manifesto is under development; we are putting finishing touches to it, to see how it can tackle specific and general problems of the country, generally.
Please permit me to always be very frank, to the point at all times, that not only Niger Delta but the country at large; we are facing a lot of leadership deficit.
What we are facing today in the Niger Delta, is manmade problems, not natural. We have seen our environment devastated, a lot of development that should come in, are not coming in, people are poor and lots of issues, they are man-made, and it’s a leadership problem.
The Niger Deltans that I know are largely peaceful, they are resilient, they are accomodating, they are resourceful, all require appropriate leaders.
What we shall do first is to ensure that Niger Deltans come up with a leader that is patriotic, that is empathetic, and sympathetic to their people who would understand what their people need and be ready to meet their needs; not leaders who will just enrich themselves and squander the resources, not leaders that will sell their people to the outside world, or to others. So once we have leaders who are ready to serve their people, we will recruit them and everything will flow down the line. A leader who will not convert the resources of the people.
Remember, billions upon billions have been spent on both the NDDC, and the Ministry of Niger Delta, 13% derivation and the rest, yet there is nothing to see on the ground, we will ensure the resources of the people work for them.
Today in Kogi State, we are among the states that are taking the least allocation. Our IGR cannot be compared to some of the South-South states, but I can assure you that the whole resource is working for the people. So once we ensure that the resources of the Niger Delta work for the Niger Delta, the story will change, thank you.
GbaramatuVoice: The Amendment of a bill to include Kogi, Lagos, Anambra, Gombe and others among the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) scaled second reading at the Senate. What are your expectations?
Governor Yahaya Bello: Well, the politics of it is that Kogi State is not from Niger Delta, and Lagos State is not Niger Delta; they should be excluded. If you argue along that line, I will say yes, we are not Niger Delta but the underlining word is development.
Development is underlined word where there are resources, especially the black gold; there should be development in those areas where the resources are being taken out.
If it would not be proper to be included in the NDDC as the name would imply, then we should have North Central Development Commission, just like we have Niger Delta Development Commission and North East Development Commission, then embed everything that has been embedded in the bill for the Niger Delta.
So that this dichotomy will not be there. There can be South West Development Commission, there is nothing wrong with that. What we want is development, anything that will bring development or any policy or any commission or any program that will bring development to the people should be encouraged.
To me, my expectations are high that which ever development commission, it will be situated, we should be able to allow it to pass so that our people will have a dividend of what they are contributing to the national purse. But we thank God that today, Kogi State belongs to oil-producing states.
GbaramatuVoice: Poor environmental protection and management policies have without a doubt been the problem of the Niger Delta, how do you intend to address this should you become president?
Governor Yahaya Bello: Let me just take you straight to one of it. I was interacting with my Deputy Speaker, Kogi State House, Right Honorable Ahmed Mohammed.
He grew and lived in Port Harcourt, I was just making jest that if you guys used to be in the creeks or somewhere in the bush and you are cooking crude and extracting various products from it, unfortunately, polluting the environment.
To make the matter worse, some of these equipment and products have been vandalized and destroyed. You see crude, you see refined products littering everywhere and spots.
I think we should have done something better. There is this modular refinery of a thing that was started several times. I don’t know why it’s so difficult to come up with such a policy. To me, due to the quests of the people to be industrious, not go into crimes and criminality, of kidnapping and the rest, they decided to come up with their raw talents and technology to be cooking and refining petroleum products.
All we need to do and what we shall do is to encourage such modular refineries to intervene in that area, those who are interested and those who have the knowledge locally and internationally bring them on board and let us be able to create these modular refineries across the Niger Delta.
So that further pollution of the air and raw processing of the crude thereby endangering the lives of the people and the environment is curtailed.
We will ensure that the law that is protecting the environment is implemented, we will also ensure that the cleaning of the environment that has been started by the current administration is done with sincerity, not that funds should be released and then you wouldn’t see any fund and nothing is clean while the fund is gone. Everything will be done according to specification.
As I said, everything still boils down to leadership. The leadership of all these various areas will be involved greatly so that they are the ones that are going to come up, bring up the youths and the investors in that area so that they can take charge of their environment and clean it up.
GbaramatuVoice: Oil spills and gas flaring have contaminated, de- graded and destroyed the mangrove forests and water bodies of the Niger Delta, what is your take on these issues?
Governor Yahaya Bello: It is all about technology and still issue of leadership. Once we have modular refineries, or crude is no longer wasted, the most current modular, the recent technology when it is being deployed and utilized, gas will not be flared, all these fumes and smokes will not be everywhere.
The cleaning of the environment by the Ministry of Environment and other relevant bodies will ensure it is been carried out thoroughly. Once it is done, and there’s no more spillage, and fumes or gas are no longer released into the air, naturally, the ecosystem will adjust itself.
The farming activities, the fishery activities, and all other commercial activities or life-saving activities will take place. So by the time we study the environment, and then we’ will have the proper leaders in place at the elderly level, at youth level, at women level, we’ll get all of this sorted out; we will get leaders who are sincere with the people to be able to do the job properly.
The current leaders in the region, have done their best. It’s not all that I know that I’ll say for now, but they have done their best. I am not saying that they are not doing their best, there’s a lot more to be done. And I know they can do better.
In the past, there used to be agitation, violent agitation in the Niger Delta. And at some point, the agitation came down when leaders were engaged. Some leaders were in charge, and then there was violence.
Today, the violence has really come down, leaders are educating their people. So once you allow quality leaders to emerge from the Niger Delta, assisting the current ones, then the problems will be solved.
Leadership problem is not only in the Niger Delta, it’s across the board. It’s not just political leaders. We have traditional rulers, religious leaders, and several leaders across the board. What is important is, by the grace of God, as Commander in Chief, I will ensure that I supervise and ensure that the leaders do what is right. If they don’t do what is right, I’ll expose them to their people. And the people will take decisions so the current leadership they’re trying, to me is okay, but a lot more needs to be done.
There have been successes that have been achieved so far. But I want to tell you that a lot more has to be done even with the current leadership or even emerging ones in the Niger Delta. But under our watch by the grace of God, we will ensure that more quality leaders, sincere ones, because we have them in abundance in the Niger Delta, they will rise and Niger Delta will never be the same again.
GbaramatuVoice: It has been said that government isn’t the only contributor to development. Oil companies are also key players through their Corporate Social Responsibility schemes. Can the companies be up and doing in the Niger Delta? If you are given the mandate, owing to this fact, how will your government advise or react to the oil companies to look into the Niger Delta development and affairs?
Governor Yahaya Bello: Right now, I don’t know what the oil companies are doing. I have a state that I’m looking after, I am not really there to put an eye, I mean attention into it. Let me tell you that for any company that is to come and settle in the region, especially under my leadership, or even existing ones, the ownership structure must be determined. The people of the area must have an equity share in these oil companies or any company whatsoever to come and operate there.
The people of the area must have equity, so that at the end of the day, whatever activities they will carry out, they will look at it as this is our company, this is our environment, this is our resources, they will determine how best to go about it.
Whatever they are doing now, might be enough, it might not be enough, it might be too much. But it is one thing that if you own a company using it to process your resources for your own people, the way you behave to the people and the environment is different from when they are only coming to take and go away and simply pay a paltry sum to them.
The resources are depleted, they are not renewable. So, if you partly own that particular company, you will know how to utilize the resources to create another wealth outside that natural resources in the event that, the depleted resources are no longer available. The company cannot just run away because I am a part-owner. That is, as an indigenous citizen, a part-owner will find a way of turning around the environment, and then the business will continue. But if I’m only coming to extract, process, take and go and simply pay a paltry sum; that’s why you see so many oil installations that are abandoned.
Some oil fields are abandoned, the environment that devastation has been taking place, then they abandon it and go away. They don’t have any stake, the people are left to suffer it. But if you have a stake in the community and the community has a stake in you, the two hands will shake well. And then there’s a better way to be able to manage the resources. Thank you.
GbaramatuVoice: What are some of your achievement so far in the past six years of your administration?
Well, there are several achievements, but let me just summarize it. I met a state that was largely disintegrated, dismerited. Today we’re more united than ever before. I met a state that was largely insecure for both the citizens and Nigerians that are passing through; the majority of the people — the passersby to the north and to the south, pass through Kogi State and they used to hold their breath but the reverse is the case today.
I inherited a state that class used to be the order. Today, the leaders, are those who can aspire to be governor, there are those that can aspire for Senate, and if you don’t belong to those classes, you cannot aspire.
I come from a humble background and the crop of leaders I am raising today can aspire for anything as far as Kogi State is concerned. I inherited a state that women’s rule was completely out of it. Today we have surpassed the 35% Affirmative Action for women in elective and appointive positions.
In terms of infrastructure and other social amenities, there have been several projects, you have been to some, and I’ll simply refer you to our website, go there, and I think you will be satisfied over our achievements and successes so far. www.kogistate.gov.ng or www.kogi pedia.net. There you will see cache of our achievements and successes and anything you see there is what you trace to the ground. Our policies and programs and various other achievements and successes are too numerous, if you spend time today, you can spend hours mentioning them.
Then, when you look at how we’ve been able to achieve all of these considering the resources that have we’ve gotten within the period, under review, our budget and our financials are online, you can see them there, the utilization of our resources as well.
GbaramatuVoice: 2023 Presidency, how prepared are you?
Governor Yahaya Bello: It is over one year now that Nigerians from all walks of life have been calling on me to run for the 2023 Presidency. Various groups, individuals within Nigeria and abroad have been calling me and I have made consultations and am still consulting very widely.
But let me tell you that as a Nigerian, the patriotic one, and as a leader in my own right, leading the way and charting the way and the cause for the younger generations and for the betterment of Nigeria. With the calls that have been coming in from various quarters, by the grace of God, I will not disappoint Nigerians. I’m ready and prepared and by the grace of God, we shall get there.
GbaramatuVoice: Sir, you said security is one of your achievements, we all know that Kogi State shares boundaries with almost ten states including federal capital territory. We’ve seen all the happening in the Middle Belt and many more. Sir, what makes Kogi different and how do you achieve these security measures?
Governor Yahaya Bello: No crime is committed in the air, every crime is committed on the land. People own the land, no piece of land as far as Nigeria or Kogi State, specifically, is concerned today that is not owned by somebody or a group of persons. Take for instance, from whichever state you come from, you have your own ancestral land.
Nobody, however, thick the forest is, however mountainous or riverine will be, nobody can be in that piece of land to carry out any activities for 24 hours, 48 hours, days, weeks, months without you having an alert. Even if it is lawful, farming activities, or mining activity, somebody must be aware.
So, what I simply did was to enlighten my people. If we really want to fight crimes and criminality, there’s not going to be the responsibility of the government alone, you must be involved. I sensitize them, they trust me, they believe me because I’ve shown openness and transparency. I have shown that I’m not here to play politics with their lives and livelihood. I’m here to first protect them, the livelihood. So I earned the trust and they volunteer information.
I ensure that all the law enforcement agencies I met on the ground that was working at cross purposes before I now united them and they’re now working in harmony from the day one that I resumed office. They share intelligence and information and they work collaboratively, and then whenever there is such information the law enforcement agencies take action.
We ensured that the locals are involved. There are various bodies, local bodies which comprise the local communities, the traditional Institutions, youth body, various association including student body, artisans, marketers, traders, we involve them.
We ensure that the teeming population of our youth is generally taken off the street, by creating such a conducive environment that makes investors to be falling on top of themselves to invest in Kogi State and taking those youths off the street, thereby reducing insecurity or crime.
By ensuring that our higher institution of learning, that is tertiary Institutions, secondary and primary schools do not go on strike. Because the moment it the time of the strike, the student will be at home, they are idle. They say that an idle man’s heart is a devil’s workshop.
Ever since we came and resolved the lingering problems of the University, Polytechnics, and colleges of education, we have had a good and smooth academic calendar, so no student is at home. Within the period that they will go on holiday, they find something to engage themselves. So the crime rate dropped, am not saying we are hundred percent secured but any opportunistic criminal who would come and strike, we will always get them because the people are highly alert.
We try to motivate our law enforcement agencies within the limit of our resources, if any of them is harmed or loses his or her life in the line of duty we take care of the family, we take care of their medical bills, and give them a little token. We spend heavily on intelligence, we gather credible intelligence as far as Kogi State is concerned.
I am on top of my game at all times, I delegate responsibilities and I supervise, in some cases if you don’t do your job I will do it for you but you face the consequences, whether law enforcement agencies or as citizens.
So, my law enforcement agencies and my people are on the same page at all times, and that’s why we are getting it right here.
We are men of faith we believe in God almighty, I usually call on my traditional rulers, my Imams, my Pastors, even those that believe in our ancestral deity to pray at all times and they pray to keep Kogi State safe and prosperous. From all indications, God has been answering our prayers.
No state is as difficult as Kogi State in this country, out of all the 36 States of the Federation including FCT non is as difficult as Kogi State.
We have a border with nine states, including FCT making it 10 states. Every vegetation you can think of from South-South to the North we have it here in Kogi State.
We have various human compositions across Nigeria in Kogi State, we have indigenous Hausa , Yoruba , Igbo and other ethnic nationality that are indigenous here. Majorly in Kogi State we have the Egbiras, Igalas and Okuns, majorly just like how we have Hausas, Yorubas and Igbos in this country.
This is a state where two major rivers meet and empty into the ocean. It comes with a lot of prospects and challenges. So no state can be as difficult as Kogi State.
Infact the challenges I inherited in Kogi State is larger than that of Nigeria. Remember I am not the Commander in Chief though I am the Chief Security Officer and Mr. President allows everybody to be in charge of his state.
We have limited resources and as we are managing the security of kogi State, I am also managing the boarders of all of the ten states around Kogi State. How many borders do we have in Nigeria? If you go down South they are predominantly Christians, Muslims at the far North, in Kogi State, it’s almost 50/50. To manage this person and unite them, to speak in unity and be ready for us to be in peace today, no single entity has taken arms against the nation as it used to be, when I came into office.
I don’t think it is going to be a difficult task to handle Nigeria and fix it. The demography of the old and the young in Kogi State is more in numbers over 70% of the population we have today in Kogi State are younger, more restive, combative, very enlightened, well educated.
To be able to hold such people together and everybody moving in the same line, ensuring that there is peace, security is not easy. In the nation, the younger generation is more in number. Talking to this demography to which I belong, we understand our language, when we speak, we will understand. It is easier even at a larger level compared to the state and local level, if I can achieve it in a more difficult state like this in Kogi State, then you can imagine what we shall do when we come to the national stage by the grace of God.
GbaramatuVoice: In line with the interview you had on the channels TV you said the governors are not afraid of the direct primaries but you went against it at the Governors’ Forum meeting in Abuja. Sir, what are your fears?
Governor Yahaya Bello: There is no fear whatsoever, whether APGA, PDP, and APC are the three political parties that produce governors in the country today. The governors are usually the leaders of the party so irrespective of any process, governors will always be on top of their game.
But we are looking at the convenience and I do say that the only thing that has no option is life itself, second option to life is death, but we want to stay alive. Also when God created this world He provided options so why do we have to box ourselves to a corner?
Look at the cost implications and various challenges. Then we are talking about democracy, a multiparty democratic system. If you say we should conduct direct primary, even if the cost will not be on the federal government, the political parties aside APC and PDP, and perhaps a very small extent APGA how many political parties will have the resources to conduct the direct primary in all the over 8,000 council wards, where are the man power for INEC and the law enforcement agencies to monitor, secure and supervise this exercise?
What is happening is personal interest emanating from somewhere and then super imposing it on others simply because you are occupying a position today and you don’t make laws base on the impulse of the moment; you look at the implications now and in the future. So that is why we are cushioning, we are not saying we don’t want direct primaries.
It is said that Mr. President said to return the party back to the people, and the question is who took the party away from the people at the first instance? The law maker that said they want to take the party to the people, you are elected via indirect primary so, it means you took the party away from the people earlier for you to get to the office, is that what you are saying? That is self-indictment, so let us always know the implications of what we speak or act. Again, all the delegates and representatives were elected by the party members who trusted them through direct primary before they can be elected to the ward or state executives.
The democracy we are practicing today, we copied from America. Over there, they don’t have only delegates, they have super delegates. It means when the people decide, delegates decide, and if it’s not satisfactory, there are super delegates whose final decision is taken.
We witness various elections in America where the college system even determines who wins. You see a popular vote in millions but electoral college very few numbers will determine who wins at the end of the day. That is democracy so, sometimes, we pick and choose what suits us at a particular time without looking at the financial and other implications.
So if we choose only that one option and something happens, you can’t conduct primaries. What happens, will those in the office continue? This will lead us into constitutional crisis. When there are options, if direct suits you at any time you do it. We are not saying we don’t want direct counsel, if the direct suit you do it. If consensus suit you fine, you do it, but don’t say it must be this or that except you are ready to truncate democracy.
Because a situation will arise and then primaries cannot be held, or you said INEC must monitor the primaries. So what happens if along the way there’s blockage or accident or there’s curfew and INEC cannot come and the time is over because there are situations like that?
What happens tomorrow if we can not hold primary we have left with no option again. There are communities or areas where elders can seat and take a decision instead of us going out to fight publicly in these cases they will take decisions among themselves and present one person.
Democracy allows free choice so why are we troubling ourselves, just allow political parties to decide what they want, establish and make a provision for their constitution; you must have a constitution before you can be registered as a political party and the legislature should not tamper ith their constitution. Sometimes when we do things let’s do them accordingly, we have no fear whatsoever this is just our concern.
GbaramatuVoice: Sir, you are agitating for youths to takeover, but there are records of Students Union Government and other youth leaders that are corrupt. Do you think we can trust this young generation with power?
Governor Yahaya Bello: First of all, you are mentioning the challenges of youth leadership, the issue of money embezzlement, and many more. I accept that such things happen but let me ask you these questions: who are these youths learning from? Some of our elders who have been in the system for long they acquire the land and property they don’t need, they amass wealth they don’t need, they have foreign accounts that they don’t need, they have property abroad that they don’t need and also take away the public funds away that they don’t need and they live affluent lives. And the younger generations are watching them, so they copy from them.
Not all the youth are bad, as long as we have some few elements who want to copy bad habits and you know that can be easily copied than good ones. There are very few ones who are gullible who want to learn from some of these leaders who brought us to where we are today, and they think that is the way of life.
As far as there are millions of Nigerian youth out there who are very credible, patriotic, energetic, courageous, intelligent and they are ready to serve this nation to the best of their ability.
These are the youths that we are talking of, and these are the youths we are saying should take over from some of these our bad leaders, some of which are not empathetic to their people, who will be given money for compensation but they will embezzle it. We know them and there are records, they will come out at the appropriate time. So that some of these leaders will not dare seek for any elective post again or even an appointment — post, where their records are placed before them.
There is youth with quality character and they have integrity, who by the grace of God naturally will spring up and then we take back our country. If we say there are youths or youth organizations who does all these things, good let them equally create that kind of record for themselves. We should also take note of those young diligent ones who are equally making good records for themselves. So when the time comes the people will speak appropriately.
I will not stop advocating for younger generations to take over, some of these leaders today are being threatened because they know that what they did in the past will come back to hunt them. We cannot because of that stop agitating and fighting for the youth to take over.
There are youths who are just moving around, what they want is to go to big men collect envelope and go away. I want to tell you there are millions of Nigerian youths today that doesn’t need your wealth but are ready to work and serve to the best of their ability. And that is exactly what I am doing in Kogi State today and everybody serving in our government today is sacrificing including me and that is why they so understand and believe in my leadership in Kogi State.
GbaramatuVoice: Sir can you sheld light on Kogi State Government and the fixed N20B allegation by the EFCC?
Governor Yahaya Bello: We sorted for a sum of 50.8 Billion when I just assumed office to settle workers’ salaries that we inherited from the previous administration and it was graciously approved by Mr. President.
In 2016/17 we accessed the first 20 billion and we applied it after a very rigorous screening exercise.
We published the application and utilization in the daily newspaper, and it is there on our website as we speak. Accessing the second tranch of 30.8 Billion there are terms and conditions that were attached from CBN, from the Debt management department, from the Ministry of Finance.
We fulfilled all of the terms and conditions and 30.8 Billion was disbursed to us. We gave 10.8 Billion to the local government to settle their own areas and 20 Billion for the state, which was accessed through sterling Bank, while the 10.8 Billion was accessed through UBA. The 20 Billion used by the state was transferred and used according to the agreement, terms, and conditions that were contained while signing the MOU and every other agreement.
NLC was part of it, TUC, CBN, DMO, Ministry of Finance is part of it, and the state government. Even the state House of Assembly, Judiciary, Pension of them were part of it and it was utilized. Today you can see on our website how the fund was transferred and you can trail it yourself to see how it was utilized before 2019, before my re-election.
You can ask generally and any civil servant in Kogi State, genuine ones, whether they received the bail. Their numbers, names, department, contact, service number, account numbers, and the amount are there on our website. So how then did you fix the same 20billion?
The matter was surprising to us as it came up just like every other Nigerians. We wrote to sterling Bank that we are aware of this fixed 20 Billion that was diverted and fixed in your bank, please give us details and they replied that we don’t have such account with them. They said we did not open any fixed interest deposit account with them.
We published their letters and everything online and all the correspondence was there. But since EFCC said they found 20 Billion somewhere, and they attached it to us, with post affidavit which they used to get Court Order to fix the purported account, to transfer the money back. A fixed deposit from 2019 to 2021 must-have yielded some interest, so how much has been yielded, at what rate was it fixed, and where is the interest?
How come it is 19. 33 Billion that was returned purportedly. 6600 million if you add it to the 19.33 Billion you will have 20billion, so you have a deposit in 2019 and 2021 is still the same amount rather certain amount has been taken out of it, who took the money and through which account? Is it cash, who withdrew the cash? Who are the signatories to the account? where is the account opening package? What is the signature mandate? where are the instructions given to open and operate the account? So as an anti-graft body you have purportedly returned 19.33B to Central Bank and the matter closed? You are not prosecuting those who committed such purported crime? is that what EFCC is established for? Who took the 6600million you are not prosecuting him or her so there are lots of questions to be answered. Meanwhile, no worker is complaining, union bodies and the pensioners are not complaining that they didn’t take the money.
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