Evolution of Nigeria’s Presidency from 1960


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Today, October 1, Nigeria marks her 60th independence anniversary as a nation freed from the shackles of the colonial masters. Since the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorate in 1914, the world’s most populous Black nation had suffered a various form of injustice, dehumanization, degradation as well as the changed identity that ended up in distorting the culture, religion, history and peaceful existence of the people.

Independence by its definition is a condition of a person, nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over the territory.
Being independent offers us the freedom and flexibility to live life the way we choose, whether from a financial, political, relationship, or career standpoint. Not relying on anyone else to do everything for us, opens countless possibilities.

 Daily Asset in its Special Independence Edition, looks at the journey so far, the various leaders that had led the country in the past six decades and what impacts their leadership have had on the people and country.

 True independence and freedom, according to Brigham Young, can only exist in doing what’s right.     

 The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the head of state and head of government of the country. The president of Nigeria is also the commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces and is elected in national elections which take place every four years. The offices, powers, and titles of the head of state and the head of government were officially merged into the office of the presidency under the 1979 Constitution of Nigeria.

The current president, Muhammadu Buhari, took office on May 29, 2015, as the 16th president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 The Nigerian president has the powers entrusted by the Constitution and legislation, including those necessary to perform the functions of head of state and head of the national executive.

The key functions of the president of Nigeria are: Assenting to and signing bills; Referring a bill back to the National Assembly for reconsideration of the bill’s constitutionality; Referring a bill to the Supreme Court for a decision on the bill’s constitutionality; Summoning the National Assembly to an extraordinary sitting to conduct special business; Making any appointments that the Constitution or legislation requires the president to make, other than as head of the national executive; Appointing commissions of inquiry; Appointing the Supreme Court justices of Nigeria on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council of Nigeria and subject to confirmation by the Senate; Calling a national referendum in terms of an act of Parliament; Receiving and recognising foreign diplomatic and consular representatives; Appointing ambassadors, plenipotentiaries, and diplomatic and consular representatives and other federal officers with the advice and consent of a majority of the Senate; Pardoning or reprieving offenders and remitting any fines, penalties or forfeitures; and Conferring honours.

Nigeria’s Presidents since Independence 1960 to date: 


See also  Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru (1966-2021)Nigeria’s first Prime Minister, Balewa, entered the government in 1952 as Minister of Works. He later served as Minister of Transport. He never aspired to be the leader of Nigeria. In 1957, he was elected Chief Minister, forming a coalition government between the NPC and the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons, led by the late Owelle of Onitsha, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.

Along with many other leaders who included Ahmadu Bello, Balewa was overthrown and murdered in a military coup on January 15, 1966. The mystery surrounding his death still remains unsolved till date as his body was discovered by a roadside near Lagos six days after he was ousted from office. Balewa was buried in Bauchi. News of his assassination spurred violent riots throughout Northern Nigeria and ultimately led to the bloody counter-coup of July 1966.
The second Head of State of Nigeria, Major General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi was born on March 3, 1924. General Ironsi seized power in the chaos that ensued from the first military coup in Nigeria and served as the Head of State of Nigeria from 16 January 1966 until he was killed on 29 July 1966 by a group of Northern army officers who revolted against his perceived tribalistic government. Ironsi, like Nzeogwu, never had a blueprint with which he wanted to rule the country.

General Yakubu “Jack” Gowon, who succeeded Aguiyi-Ironsi, was born on October 19, 1934. After the coup of January 1966, he was appointed Chief of Staff by Aguiyi-Ironsi. Northern officers staged a countercoup in July 1966, and Gowon emerged as the compromise head of the new government. During his rule, the Nigerian government successfully prevented Biafran secession during the 1967-70 Nigerian Civil War. Gowon, like other leaders before him, had power thrust on him by fate.
The fourth Head of State of Nigeria, General Murtala Ramat Muhammed, born on November 8, 1938. General Muhammed came into power on July 30, 1975, when General Gowon was overthrown while at an Organisation of African Unity summit in Kampala, Uganda. Brigadiers Obasanjo (later Lt. General) and Theophilus Danjuma (later Lt. General) were appointed as Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters and Chief of Army Staff, respectively. In the coup d’état that brought him to power, Muhammed introduced the phrases “Fellow Nigerians” and “with immediate effect” into the national lexicon. In a short time, Muhammed’s policies won him broad popular support and his decisiveness elevated him to the status of a folk hero. Seen as a radical military officer, some of Muhammed’s policies were viewed as a rash.

Brigadier Olusegun Matthew Aremu Okikiolu Obasanjo was born on March 5, 1938. Although Obasanjo did not participate in the military coup of 29 July 1975, led by Murtala Muhammed, he supported it and was named Murtala’s deputy in the new government. On 13 February, 1976, coup plotters, led by Colonel Buka Suka Dimka, marked him, Murtala and other senior military officers for assassination. Muhammed Murtala was killed during the attempted coup, but Obasanjo escaped death. The low profile security policy adopted by Muhammed had allowed the plotters easy access to their targets. The coup was foiled because the plotters missed Obasanjo, who was the Chief of Staff, and Danjuma, Chief of Army Staff and de facto number three man in the country. The plotters failed to monopolise communications, although they were able to take over the radio station to announce the coup attempt. Obasanjo and Danjuma established a chain of command and re-established security in Lagos, thereby regaining control. Obasanjo was appointed as Head of State by the Supreme Military Council. Keeping the chain of command established by Muhammed, Obasanjo pledged to continue the programme for the restoration of civilian government in 1979 and to carry forward the reform programme to improve the quality of public service.

See also  The Plight of RefugeesShehu Usman Aliyu Shagari was born on February 25, 1925. Shagari emerged as the President of Nigeria’s Second Republic (1979-1983) after the handover of power by Obasanjo’s military government.
He worked as a teacher for a brief period before entering politics in 1954 upon his election to the federal House of Representatives. Shagari, like some of his predecessors in power, did not set out to govern the country. His ascendency came as a result of the northern oligarchy’s determination to maintain power.
Major General Muhammadu Buhari was one of the leaders of the military coup of December 1983 that overthrew the democratically elected government of President Shagari. At the time of the coup plot, Buhari was the General Officer Commanding Third Armoured Division of Jos. With the successful execution of the coup, Brigadier General Tunde Idiagbon was appointed Chief of General Staff (the de facto No. 2 man in the administration). Buhari justified the military’s seizure of power by castigating the civilian government as hopelessly corrupt and promptly suspended Nigeria’s 1979 Constitution.

General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida overthrew the Buhari administration in a coup on August 27, 1985. His administration threw the nation into turmoil as he annulled the victory of Chief MKO Abiola, who won the June 12, 1993, presidential election. His era was seen as the high point of corruption in the country’s history.

Business mogul, Chief MKO, could be said to be prepared for the presidency, which he had eyed since the Second Republic when he joined the ruling National Party of Nigeria. A philanthropist par excellence, Abiola went round the country campaigning and soliciting for support from the major power blocs. This resulted in his resounding victory which cut across tribe and religion. He was denied his victory by his friend, Babangida, who annulled his election. But in 2018 President Buhari recognised late MKO as President-elect, a posthumous award that was applauded by many.

Ernest Adegunle Oladeinde Shonekan was born on May 9, 1936, in Lagos. He is a British-trained lawyer, industrialist and politician. He was appointed as the Head of the Interim National Government by General Ibrahim Babangida on 26 August 1993. Babangida resigned under pressure to cede control to a democratic government. Shonekan’s transitional administration only lasted three months as a palace coup led by General Sani Abacha forcefully dismantled the remaining democratic institutions and brought the government back under military control on 17 November 1993.
See also  Nigeria’s Debt BurdenNigeria’s 10th Head of State, Sani Abacha, was born on September 20, 1943. He served as the country’s military ruler from 1993 to 1998. Abacha’s administration, like that of Babangida, witnessed state-sponsored killings and human right abuses. He clamped the winner of the June 12 presidential election, Abiola, into jail. Abiola later died in jail.

General Abdulsalami Abubakar was born on June 13, 1942. He led Nigeria from June 9 till May 29, 1999. Abubakar’s regime gave Nigeria her current constitution on May 5, 1999. The constitution provided the country for multiparty elections and Abubakar transferred power to Obasanjo on May 29, 1999, after the latter won the country’s presidential election.
Obasanjo, who was incarcerated by Abacha, was on death list before Abacha died in mysterious circumstances. Obasanjo was freed after the death of Abacha and he was propped up by the powers that be to run for the presidency. A reluctant Obasanjo had wanted to back to his farm in Ota, Ogun State.
The country’s power oligarch sought for a replacement for Obasanjo, whose tenure came to an end in 2007, and they found one in Yar’Adua. Yar’Adua was born on August 16, 1951, and he emerged as the country’s 13th leader on May 29, 2007. The head of the oligarch, Obasanjo, literally produced Yar’Adua, whose elder brother, Shehu Yar’Adua, was his military colleague. After serving as Katsina State governor between 1999 and 2007, Yar’Adua had desired to retire until the lot fell on him to lead the country.
He had no blueprint for the country’s challenges.
Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan was born on November 20, 1957. Power was thrust upon him when Yar’Adua died in 2010. He never aspired to be governor when as deputy governor, his principal, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, was impeached and he took over.
The incoming president, Buhari, has contested for the presidency three times consecutively. He is seen as an honest and disciplined leader, who is passionate about the country’s development. Members of the opposition have, however, said that Buhari would not achieve much in his quest to transform Nigeria because of the calibre of people surrounding him.
The next four years shall show whether or not Buhari will succeed.
Each of these leaders has contributed their quotas in the development of the country and Nigeria is becoming one of the fastest-growing economies in the world holding a key position in the global arena – like the United Nations, UN General Assembly, World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank, African Export-Import Bank (Afteximbank) and many other top positions. 
Despite these successes, there have been perceived injustice in most parts of the country, many still cry of being marginalized of economic and social amenities.
But like the former President of the United States of America, John F. Kennedy said, ”The great revolution in the history of man, past, present and future, is the revolution of those determined to be free.” Nigeria as a sovereign country is free, but the citizenry is yearning for a nation that will give everyone equal right and opportunity irrespective of tribe, religion or ethnicity. 
President Muhammadu Buhari has the enormous responsibility of correcting the ills of the past and ensure justice for every Nigerians. 
RELATED TOPICS:EVOLUTIONNIGERIA-PRESIDENTSINCE-1960UP NEXTDeadly Attacks on Governor ZulumDON’T MISSLokoja, Lagos Tanker AccidentsYOU MAY LIKECLICK TO COMMENTEDITORIALEnding the scourge of human trafficking in NigeriaPublished 1 day ago on January 13, 2022By Editor_01Share Post Views: 37By Shirgba Rosemary Awashima
The spate of human trafficking is becoming a big concern. Trafficking in persons is one of the most lucrative criminal markets globally.

In Nigeria, the trafficking in person by both domestic and cross-border method is taking a new dimension despite federal government effort to curbing the ugly trend.

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has been making efforts to ensure trafficking cases are being investigated in close collaboration with other law enforcement agencies but more need to be done given then Nigerian citizens, especially girls are being affected.
There is no doubt that modern slavery is real and trafficking very much around us. Young people are dying daily and destinies being wasted.
Recently, luck ran out of a lady at Duku park in Makurdi, the Benue state capital (name withheld) why trying to traffick some girls in the name of given then better jobs in the city.
When asked about the lady who was trafficking them to Lagos, “The victims said a phone call was put across to them to call the lady in question and move with her to Lagos for a better life.” They added that some of them would move to even farther and better locations like Benin Republic, Togo, Mali, Burkina Faso, etc.
See also  Expired Rice for Bauchi IDPsSadly, there was one number for all of them as their next of kins. 
Speaking on the issue, a human right activist, Ukan Kurugh urged the management of transportation companies to be more proactive in their dealings with would be passengers because this has been ongoing for long now, and for a fact one is caught, many are around still.

 He said, “The Nigerian Government indeed have a long way to go on trafficking. Modern slavery is real and young people, boys and girls need to know that, some of the area Uncles and Aunties that come with supposed help in one hand, have very big trouble in the other.
“Parents too need to be on the lookout and Please the government must check the borders, the situation is already terrible,” he added.
Although, the girls were lucky to have escape the trafficking, so many people are being lured into believing that they are being taken in the city or abroad in search of a greener pasture only to be turned into sex slaves and other means of exploitation.

 Few days ago, the Nigerian Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Ramatu Ahmed said no fewer than 10,000 Nigerian girls are forced into prostitution in Burkina Faso.
See also  10 Years of Boko Haram InsurgencyAhmed went ahead to say the  victims of sex-trade were mainly underage girls kept in appalling conditions in Ouagadougou and in mining camps across the West African country.
Ahmed who had been in Burkina Faso since August 2017,  said  that over 200 Nigerian girls had been voluntarily repatriated this year.
According to the Ambassador,  many of the girls who were promised jobs in the country and Europe by the human traffickers are not willing to return home.
She was quoted saying, “The spate of human trafficking here in Burkina Faso is a big concern to the embassy because at present, we have nothing  less than 10,00 Nigerian girls who have been trafficked into Burkina Faso as commercial sex workers  and most of these girls are underage, most left school and are roaming about doing commercial sex work in Burkina Faso.
“This apart from been a dent to our country, it is also a sort of concern as far as their health is concerned, This is very serious to us and most of the girls who wants to go back as a result this voluntary repatriation do it because they were tricked, they did not know the condition there are going to found themselves here.
See also  Selection Process of Next Vice-Chancellor is Transparent, Credible -LASUAwashima is a Mass Communication student of Abubakar Tatari Ali polytechnic Bauchi
CONTINUE READINGEDITORIAL2021:A year of Daunting Challenges for NigeriaPublished 3 weeks ago on December 26, 2021By Editor_01Share Post Views: 80As the year, 2021, winds to a close, Nigerians will  readily reflect on it as one of the worst in the annals of the nation’s history.
It was a year Nigerians faced numerous security problems, with a number of  challenges that were unprecedented in the history of the nation.

The nation also encountered economic challenges, with prices of food skyrocketing beyond the reach of the people, and in the process  increasing  the  poverty level of the country which has been dubbed infamously as the “Poverty Capital of the World” for the past three years .

Prices of staple food like rice, beans, garri, yams, etc increased by more than 100 pr-cent within the year.   On the front burner of the security challenges was the insurgency war in the North East which has been going on for more than eleven  years,  spearheaded by Boko Haram and the  Islamic State for the West African Province(ISWAP).

 Boko Haram alone  accounted for more than 35,000 deaths  in the North East region alone. But for the heroics of the nation’s military men and women, the story would have been worse.
To their credit, their fire power was so significant in the year that thousands of the insurgents surrendered to the nation’s Military. We therefore salute the gallantry of the men and officers of the nation’s Armed Forces for combating the twin insurgency groups whose  operations have been reduced from states like Yobe, Adamawa, but now consigned  to the Lake Chad Region .

See also  Kenneth Kaunda (1924-2021)We are therefore advocating increased budgeting and financing for the Military to enable them finish the war of attrition against the nation, in the New Year.

Closely related to this was the increasing rate and frequency banditry and kidnapping took tolls on the nation, especially the Northern part of the country. States like Kaduna, Zamfara,Katsina,  and Sokoto were the worst affected. Some of these bandits have been linked to fleeing insurgents from the North East, , and the need for the Federal Government to take counter measures to halt their spread becomes inevitable. Sadly school children and their teachers were  targets of these unlawful elements.

 The United Nations Children and Education Fund, UNICEF,  disclosed  that about 1,436 school children and 17 teachers were abducted from Nigeria schools between December 2020 and October 2021. It also disclosed that about 16 school children lost their lives in the process of their abduction within the same period.

Speaking in  similar    Save the Children International, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), said increasing cases of attacks on schools between 2020 and 2021  led to many schools being shut, thereby putting the education system of the country at “extreme risk.” Mercy Gichuhi, Country Director, of the NGO stated this in the event  to mark the world second International Day to Protect Education from Attacks.
See also  Nigeria’s Debt BurdenMercy Gichuchi its director in Nigeria  noted that “When education is under attack, a generation is attacked, and that  girls and women were  more vulnerable at times of attack putting them at a higher risk of trauma, fear, gender-based violence, physical and sexual abuse.Many cases of attacks by gunmen  were on schools in Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Zamfara and Niger states, during which hundreds of students were abducted for ransom.
She further noted   with concern that  between 2015-2019, there were 100 reported attacks on schools in Nigeria. And that these  attacks have been on the increase between 2020 and 2021, which led to the closedown of many schools by the government due to fear of being attacked,” she said.
She revealed ,  that the  Democratic Republic of Congo, [DRC], Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Sudan, Mali, and Libya have education systems that were  at “extreme risk” while Syria and Yemen followed  closely behind.
The  South East region of the country was also a boiling point in the year that is coming to an end with security problems traced to the Indigenous People of Biafra[IPOB] and its affiliate, Eastern Security Network(ESN).
Hundreds of civilians and and  security personnel lost their lives in some of the skirmishes in the area, caused mainly as a result of trouble between the people of the area and herders.
See also  Selection Process of Next Vice-Chancellor is Transparent, Credible -LASUWhile bidding farewell to 2021 with its numerous challenges, and difficulties witnessed by Nigerians, we are calling on the Federal Government to rise up and work towards making life  meaningful for the citizens. Of greater concern is the issue of security, which has to be addressed with all  seriousness to make the country safer and better place in 2022. 
CONTINUE READINGEDITORIALObadiah Mailafia[December 24, 1956-September 19,2021]Published 4 months ago on October 1, 2021By Editor_01Share Post Views: 150His controversial death on September 19, of this illustrious son of Nigeria came as a great shock to the nation. Obadiah Mailafia until his demise  over allegations of poor attention from  the various hospitals he was taken to  was a  development economist, international polymath, central banker, statesman ; the 2019 Nigeria Presidential election candidate of African Democratic Congress (ADC), and a columnist with some of the national newspapers.

He was equally an international figure.  He was a former official of the African Development Bank Group and one-time deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
[Obadiah was  also the Chief of Staff of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), the 79-nation multilateral development institution based in Brussels, Belgium.Mailafia was born on  December 24 1956 in  Randa in Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State.His father ,Baba Mailafia Gambo Galadima ,was an Evangelist with the Evangelical Reformed Church of Central Nigeria (ERCC). Mailafia was brought up  as a missionary child in a multiracial environment. His parents later transferred to Murya, Lafia, in Nasarawa State, where he grew up. He started his elementary education at Musha Sudan United Mission School from 1964 to 1969 and proceeded to Mada Hills Secondary School, Akwanga from 1970 to 1974. While in school, he distinguished himself as  a keen sportsman, debater and scholar; winning the Commissioner of Education’s Award as the most outstanding pupil of the graduating class of 1974. For his ‘A’ Levels, he attended the School of Basic Studies (SBS) at Ahmadu Bello University,[abu] Zaria, between 1974 and 1975. He later graduated top of his class at ABU Zaria, in 1978 with a B.Sc. Honours Social Sciences degree (Politics, Economics and Sociology). He also obtained   M.Sc. from the same institution. He subsequently won a French Government Scholarship to France, where he earned a Certificate in French Language and Civilization from the University of Clermont-Ferrand in 1985. In 1986 he also earned the Diplôme (equivalent to an M.Phil.) in International economics from the Institut International d’Administration Public (IIAP), the international wing and sister institution of the prestigious École Nationale d’Administration (ENA) of France.Mailafia later proceeded to the United Kingdom as a Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Scholar at Oriel College, earning a DPhil from the University of Oxford in 1995.He  began his career teaching Government and Economics at Akoko Anglican Grammar School, Arigidi-Ikare in Ondo State, Nigeria between 1978 and 1979 as part of his primary assignment during his obligatory National Youth Service Corps[NYSC] . After national service he returned to his  alma mater, ABU, as a graduate assistant in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences from 1980 to 1982. During this period he lectured undergraduates and was also Research Assistant to Professor Ibrahim Gambari, who later became Foreign Minister and subsequently United Nations adviser for Political Affairs.From 1982 to 1989, Mailafia was a Fellow and sometime acting research director of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS). Mailafia was resident tutor and lecturer in the economics and politics of developing areas at Plater College Oxford at the time an associate college of the University of Oxford. from  1995–1996 he was an assistant professor at New England College, Arundel, the foreign academic programme of New England College. He was subsequently a lecturer in international finance at Richmond Business School, the American International University in London  from (1997–1998). He was then headhunted as the pioneer head of the International Business Department of Regents Business School London ( from 1998–2000).From 2001 to 2005, Mailafia served as a chief economist in the Strategic Planning and Budgeting Department of the African Development Bank Group. He served both in Abidjan and in Tunis when the bank was temporarily relocated to Tunisia. In this capacity he was on several missions throughout Africa to supervise projects in power and infrastructures, agriculture industry. He was also the task manager for coordinating grants to research institutions throughout Africa, including such institutions as the Council for Social Science Research (CODESRIA),[13] African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)[14] and the African Capacity Development Foundation (ACBF). He drafted the Concept Note that was later adopted by the board of the AFDB, leading to the establishment of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and was also a Member of the AfDB and the United Nations Economic Commission of Africa (UNECA) Joint Committee that provided technical support to the steering committee of the heads of state and government on the establishment of NEPAD and its secretariat.From 2005 to 2007, Mailafia was recalled home from the ADB  to serve as deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). In this capacity he served as a member of the board of directors of the bank and was principally responsible for managing monetary policy, economic policy, research and statistics and liaison with regional and international bodies, including the IMF and the World Bank. He was a principal actor in the banking consolidation exercise of 2005–2006 that led to the reform of the Nigerian banking sector. He oversaw the reduction of the number of commercial banks, through mergers and acquisitions, from 89 to 25 consolidated banks; an exercise that was widely regarded as one of the most successful such efforts anywhere in the developing world in recent times. He was also an active participant in the negotiations that led to Nigeria negotiating its way out of the Paris Club group of indebted nations.From 2010 to 2015, Mailafia was the Chief of Staff (Chef de Cabinet) to the 79-member nation African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States based in Brussels, Belgium. In this capacity he was the most senior adviser to the Secretary-General, overseeing the strategic management function; liaising with external partners such as the European Commission, European Parliament, European Investment Bank (EIB), UN agencies and the IMF and World Bank. He was involved in managing a portfolio of €22 billion of EU funding for ACP countries under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) and €31.5 billion for the 11th European Development Fund covering the years 2015–2020. His work took him all over Africa, the Caribbean and the far-flung islands of the Pacific, where he canvassed for South-South cooperation, preaching the ideals of multilateralism, peace and international cooperation as the best hope for mankind.He later joined politics, and Mailafia ran for presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the 2019 presidential elections under the platform of the African Democratic Congress (ADC).  See also  The Plight of RefugeesThe Northern Governors Forum[NGF]  has described his death  as a great loss to the nation as well as the entire Northern region.
In a statement , the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon  Lalong said the death of Dr Mailafiya is a sad development not only to his family, but to the nation because of his enormous contributions to the socio-economic pursuits of Nigeria.He said:  “The legacies of Dr Mailafiya will continue to be celebrated as he showed passion for development, emancipation, truth, justice and equity in all his interventions at various platforms.”Also, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom,  described the demise of the renowned banker as a great loss. Gov. Ortom said  the nation will greatly miss the contributions of Mailafia in the economic and political spheres of Nigeria, particularly at a time the country needs patriots in tackling the myriad of challenges confronting it. No doubt Mailafia will be greatly missed.

Source: Daily Asset Online


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