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03 Jun
0

YIAGA Africa Deploys Pre-Election Observers to all 16 Local Government Area in Ekiti State

….to recruit observers from sampled polling units

Having Observed the Political party primaries in Ekiti State, YIAGA’s Watching The Vote (WTV) project has also trained and deployed Long Term Observers (LTO) to observe the pre-election environment in Ekiti State. The Long Term Observers are also expected to recruit polling unit observers from sampled polling units. The Long Term observes who also double as Local Government Supervisors were deployed to each of the 16 Local Government Areas in the State to report on events, activities and critical incidents using a spescialized checklist and critical incident form. The observation reports from the field are sent in form of coded SMS to the WTV Data Center bi-weekly while the critical incidents are sent in as they occur and properly escalated after verification.

YIAGA Africa’s Watching The Vote Pre-Election observers will observe issues related to the; activities of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ranging from voter education and information campaigns to the collection and distribution of Permanent Voters Card, activities of political parties like the rallies and campaigns, activities relating to security agencies and incidents capable of undermining the electoral process. Pre-election observers will also observe and report Voter information campaigns by National Orientation Agency (NOA) and other Civil Society Organisations.

At YIAGA Africa, we believe and promote social justice and inclusiveness thus voter education and campaigns targeted specifically at Youths, Women and Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) will be followed closely and duly reported by Observers during the pre-election period. Even as political parties launch their campaigns across the state, our election observation team are interested in campaigns and rallies associated to various political parties while also observing if youths, women and PWDs are also in anyway canvassing for votes.

Through the Pre-Election observation, YIAGA Africa will track early warning signs and any form of incident that can hinder the successful conduct of the elections. In this vein, WTV pre-elections observers will observe and report issues relating to hate speech campaigns, intimidation and harassment of any electoral stakeholder and attacks on media or INEC officials. LTOs will also report government restrictions on political activities or unjustifiable military influx into the state. This will enable YIAGA to verify and report this information to relevant authorities for proper action. Pre-elections observation findings will be shared to the public via various channels of communication including social media.

As a civic hub dedicated to the promotion electoral integrity and credible elections and as an INEC accredited observer group, YIAGA Africa will also be deploying citizens’ observers to observe the Election Day activities. YIAGA invites the people of Ekiti State, Election Stakeholders and citizens to follow the pre-election observation report and engage using the findings of the reports.

Signed

YIAGA Africa

Executive Director,

Samson Itodo

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03 Jun
0

Ekiti REC Excited Over WatchingTheVote Election Observation Deployment Plan

….as WTV pays Advocacy visit to INEC, Police

The Ekiti state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof Abdul-Ganiyu Olayinka has said he is excited over YIAGA Africa’s WatchingTheVote (WTV) plan to deploy technology to observe the upcoming Ekiti State Governorship Elections. The REC lauded YIAGA Africa’s WTV electoral reform effort, saying the information and data provided by the project is very useful to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).  The REC said this when he received the WTV team in his office at Ado-Ekiti as he declared his excitement towards the project’s plan to deploy observers technology.

According to Prof Olayinka, YIAGA Africa is a formidable Organisation that strengthens democracy thus the commission will continue to welcome support and partnership on voter education and electoral transparency to correct the mindset of citizens while also building the confidence of electorates going into the elections.

While hoping that YIAGA Africa’s WTV deploys observers to flash points, the REC stressed that WTV deploy competent personnel who have passion for democracy while warning observers about the implication of manipulating data.

Speaking on the Commission’s preparation for the July 14, Governorship Elections in Ekiti state, the REC stated that INEC has launched a citizen voter education program that YIAGA Africa can be part of. He also revealed that, the commission has stepped down Voter Education Town hall meetings to all 16 Local Government Areas in the state. So far 520,000 Permanent Voters Card have been collected by citizens ahead of the election according to the REC.

He also said, INEC will make use of E-collation for the Ekiti election as it had done internet analysis of all the Polling Units in order to identify the best Internet Service Providers for each Polling Unit. According to Prof Olayinka, INEC will also set up and Election Operation Support Centre to monitor and track Election Day procedure to mitigate violence saying INEC’s Election Risk Management desk have identified flashpoints.

The Advocacy meeting was also joined by critical INEC officials like head of Election Party Monitoring, Head of Voter Education, and also key officials from Gender and also Information Communication Technology department.

Police Assures Security of Ekiti Polls

The Nigerian Police force has assured maximum security ahead of the upcoming Governorship Elections in Ekiti state. This was revealed by the Police Public Relations Officer, Caleb Ikechukwu, while receiving YIAGA Africa’s Election observation team in Ado- Ekiti. The PPRO revealed that the Police force will deploy at over 6,000 unarmed Police officers to secure electoral materials, personnel and citizens for the July 14th Governorship Election in the state.

According to Mr Ikechukwu, the Nigerian Police will also deploy 25 tactical units of 63 mobile officers who will be armed at 100m from each Polling Units to protect voters and ensure law and order during elections. He said, there will also be patrol teams with vehicles and also aerial surveillance as he declared that the preparedness if for Pre, during and post the governorship elections in the state.

Mr Ikechukwu urged young people to eschew violence and not allow themselves to be used by politician saying no citizens is expected to be seen with light or heavy weapon. He urged Nigerians to report to the Police if they have any information that will help protect the citizens.

 

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03 Jun
0

History is made as Buhari signs Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill

It was on the 31st Day of May, 2018 at exactly 2.30pm as news emerged from the Presidential Villa that President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill.

Indeed President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill into law. The president signed the bill this afternoon inside the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Buhari had, in his Democracy Day broadcast said he will be joined by Nigerian Youths to sign the Age Reduction Bill. The President kept to his promise by inviting members of the NotTooYoungToRun movement to the Presidential Villa to witness the signing of the historic bill.

The bill was passed by the National Assembly last year to alter Sections 65, 106, 131, 177 of the Constitution to reduce the age qualification for president from 40 to 30; governor from 35 to 30; senator from 35 to 30; House of Representatives membership from 30 to 25 and State House of Assembly membership from 30 to 25.

Speaking during the event, the President said, the coordinators of the Not Too Young To Run movement have now established a formidable legacy – which is that, in our maturing democracy, if you really want to change something in Nigeria, and if you can organise yourselves and work hard towards it – you can achieve it. The remarkable effort by the movement according to the President has resulted in the heroic task of enshrining in law, a reduction of the minimum ages for elective office in Nigeria.

“You, the young people of Nigeria, are now set to leave your mark on the political space, just as you have done over the decades in entrepreneurship, sports, art, media entertainment, technology, and several other fields. You are undoubtedly Nigeria’s most important resource – not oil, not agriculture, not solid minerals – but you and all of us. Your energy, intelligence and talent are what will drive and develop Nigeria, long after we are all gone”, the President said

According to him, “this is an opportunity for me to affirm that this Administration will continue to do everything in its power to make Nigeria work for you”. He also  urged young people to take advantage of this constitutional amendment.

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03 Jun
0

YIAGA Africa’s WatchingTheVote Hosts Media Parley in Ekiti

Ahead of its election observation activities in the state, YIAGA Africa’s  WatchingTheVote has held a media round table discussion with the journalists in Ekiti state.

The Journalists drawn from different Media Organisations which cuts across the Electronics Chapel, Correspondent Chapel and the Online Media Platforms were invited to attend the meeting have been abreast with information as to the goals that YIAGA Africa its deployment plan regarding the Pre-election, election and post-election situation in the state.

According to WTV Project Director, Cynthia Mbamalu, the project is out to foster and ensure a well-coordinated, organized and successful Governorship election scheduled to hold on the July 14th, 2018 through their pre-election observation / activities as well as the Election Day observation report and the post-election observation / activities report among other goals.

She said,   the pre-election activities is expected to focus on the areas of monitoring of the activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Voter Education Campaigns, monitoring of the political parties activities, coordinating and monitoring the marginalised groups such as the people with disabilities in the State and the tracking of the economy activities of the people of the State as well as the activities of individuals and political parties proned to violence.

“To effectively observed the pre-election activities, WTV has also deployed   24 Supervisors across the 16 local government areas in the State as part of their efforts of recording a successful WatchingTheVote Campaigns”, she said.

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31 May
0

President Buhari’s Remarks at the Signing of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill in Abuja

First, I would like to welcome you all to the State House. Today is a significant day for all of us in Nigeria, and most especially our young people – and the role they play in our democracy, politics and national life.

We are gathered here for the signing of the “Not Too Young To Run Bill”, a landmark piece of legislation that was conceived, championed and accomplished by young Nigerians.

The coordinators of the Not Too Young To Run movement have now established a formidable legacy – which is that, in our maturing democracy, if you really want to change something in Nigeria, and if you can organise yourselves and work hard towards it – you can achieve it. The outcome of such efforts is this remarkable feat.

These efforts have resulted in the heroic task of enshrining in law, a reduction of the minimum ages for elective office in Nigeria.

  1. Eligible age for aspirants for members of the State Houses of Assembly will be reduced from 30 to 25 years;
  2. Eligible age for aspirants for members of the Federal House of Representatives will be reduced from 30 to 25 years; and
  3. Eligible age for aspirants for Office of the President will be lowered from 40 to 35 years.

Surprisingly, the age limits for Senators and Governors was not reduced, as originally proposed by the sponsors of this Bill. This is an issue that may need to be addressed going forward.

Nevertheless, your focus and contributions have now successfully increased the quality and maturity of Nigerian democracy and expanded the playing field for youth participation in politics.

You, the young people of Nigeria, are now set to leave your mark on the political space, just as you have done over the decades in entrepreneurship, sports, art, media entertainment, technology, and several other fields.

You are undoubtedly Nigeria’s most important resource – not oil, not agriculture, not solid minerals – but you and all of us. Your energy, intelligence and talent are what will drive and develop Nigeria, long after we are all gone.

This is an opportunity for me to affirm that this Administration will continue to do everything in its power to make Nigeria work for you.

You may all know that the Bill I just assented now becomes an Act of the National Assembly.

Thus, it may be tempting for you to think of this as the end of the journey. However, it is only the beginning; there is still a lot of work ahead, towards ensuring that young people take full advantage of the opportunities provided not only by this constitutional amendment but also through Nigeria’s boundless prospects.

You should inculcate the spirit of self-help. Those who complete their training should not just sit down and wait for the government or private sector to employ them. You should be innovative and turn your hands to any legitimate work that will enable you to sustain yourself.

You may have noticed already that every one of you represents one of our 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory. This is because today is about preparing for the bright future of our country.

I am confident each one of you will transform Nigeria in your own way – whether through media, agricultural enterprise, economists, engineers, or as lawmakers in your States or at Federal levels, or as State Governors – and even someday, as President. Why not?

But please, can I ask you to postpone your campaigns till after the 2019 elections!

Finally, let me say how proud I am, and how proud the entire country is, of what you have accomplished. Congratulations and best of luck with continuing to work to make Nigeria a greater country for us and future generations of Nigerians.

God bless all the young people of Nigeria and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

Source – http://statehouse.gov.ng

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31 May
0

REMARKS BY H.E. MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA  AT THE SIGNING OF THE NOT-TOO-YOUNG-TO-RUN BILL

The President’s full speech:

REMARKS BY H.E. MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA  AT THE SIGNING OF THE NOT-TOO-YOUNG-TO-RUN BILL, 31ST MAY, 2018, STATE HOUSE, ABUJA

  1. First, I would like to welcome you all to the State House. Today is a significant day for all of us in Nigeria, and most especially our young people – and the role they play in our democracy, politics and national life.
  2. We are gathered here for the signing of the “Not Too Young To Run Bill”, a landmark piece of legislation that was conceived, championed and accomplished by young Nigerians.
  3. The coordinators of the Not Too Young To Run movement have now established a formidable legacy – which is that, in our maturing democracy, if you really want to change something in Nigeria, and if you can organise yourselves and work hard towards it – you can achieve it. The outcome of such efforts is this remarkable feat.
  4. These efforts have resulted in the heroic task of enshrining in law, a reduction of the minimum ages for elective office in Nigeria.
  5. Eligible age for aspirants for members of the State Houses of Assembly will be reduced from 30 to 25 years;
  6. Eligible age for aspirants for members of the Federal House of Representatives will be reduced from 30 to 25 years; and
  7. Eligible age for aspirants for Office of the President, will be lowered from 40 to 35 years.
  8. Surprisingly, the age limits for Senators and Governors was not reduced, as originally proposed by the sponsors of this Bill. This is an issue that may need to be addressed going forward.
  9. Nevertheless, your focus and contributions have now successfully increased the quality and maturity of Nigerian democracy and expanded the playing field for youth participation in politics.
  10. You, the young people of Nigeria, are now set to leave your mark on the political space, just as you have done over the decades in entrepreneurship, sports, art, media entertainment, technology, and several other fields.
  11. You are undoubtedly Nigeria’s most important resource – not oil, not agriculture, not solid minerals – but you and all of us. Your energy, intelligence and talent are what will drive and develop Nigeria, long after we are all gone.
  12. This is an opportunity for me to affirm that this Administration will continue to do everything in its power to make Nigeria work for you.
  13. You may all know that the Bill I just assented now becomes an Act of the National Assembly.
  14. Thus, it may be tempting for you to think of this as the end of the journey. However, it is only the beginning; there is still a lot of work ahead, towards ensuring that young people take full advantage of the opportunities provided not only by this constitutional amendment but also through Nigeria’s boundless prospects.
  15. You should inculcate the spirit of self-help. Those who complete their training should not just sit down and wait for government or private sector to employ them. You should be innovative and turn your hands to any legitimate work that will enable you to sustain yourself.
  16. You may have noticed already that every one of you represents one of our 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory. This is because today is about preparing for the bright future of our country.
  17. I am confident each one of you will transform Nigeria in your own way – whether through media, agricultural enterprise, economists, engineers, or as lawmakers in your States or at Federal levels, or as State Governors – and even someday, as President. Why not?

But please, can I ask you to postpone your campaigns till after the 2019 elections!

  1. Finally, let me say how proud I am, and how proud the entire country is, of what you have accomplished. Congratulations and best of luck with continuing to work to make Nigeria a greater country for us and future generations of Nigerians.
  2. God bless all the young people of Nigeria and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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31 May
0

Buhari signs Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill into law.
The president signed the bill this afternoon inside the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Buhari had, in his Democracy Day broadcast on Tuesday, pledged to sign the bill.

The bill was passed by the National Assembly last year to alter Sections 65, 106, 131, 177 of the Constitution to reduce the age qualification for president from 40 to 30; governor from 35 to 30; senator from 35 to 30; House of Representatives membership from 30 to 25 and State House of Assembly membership from 30 to 25.

Detail later..

 

Source: DailyTrust

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29 May
0

I will sign ‘Not Too Young to Run Bill’ – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he will, in a few days’ time, sign into law the ‘Not too young to run’ bill.

The President made this promise in a nationwide broadcast in commemoration of the Democracy Day on Tuesday.

He said, “In a few days to come, I will be joined by many promising young Nigerians to sign into law the ‘Not too young to run’ bill.”

The bill, which is part of the process to amend the 1999 Constitution, seeks to reduce the minimum age requirement for elective positions in the country.

It was first passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives in July 2017. Many state houses of assembly in the country have also passed the bill.

President Buhari also advised all and sundry to be law-abiding as the country enters into another election season.

He said, “The upcoming months will usher us into another season of general elections. Let me use this opportunity to urge us all to conduct ourselves, our wards and our constituencies with the utmost sense of fairness, justice and peaceful co-existence such that we will have not only hitch-free elections but also a credible and violence-free process.”

The President, who reiterated that the fight against graft remained his administration’s primary objective, vowed not to relent in killing corruption before it did an irreparable damage to the nation.

He said, “The second primary objective of this administration is to fight corruption headlong. Like I have always said, if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will destroy the country. Three years into this administration, Nigerians and the international community have begun to applaud our policies and determination to fight corruption. We are more than ever before determined to win this war, however hard the road is. I, therefore, appeal to all well-meaning Nigerians to continue to support us in this fight.

“Various policy measures already put in place to stem the tide of corrupt practices are yielding remarkable results. Some of these key reform policies include: Treasury Single Account, which has realised billions of naira being saved from the maintenance fee payable to banks. N200bn has also been saved from the elimination of ghost workers in public service.”

President Buhari noted that the whistle-blowing policy had helped the government to recover over N500bn.

He added, “The Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit, set up with a mandate to validate controls, assess risks, prune personnel costs and ensure compliance with Public Financial Management reforms, has helped to identify and remove over 52,000 ghost workers from the Federal Government’s MDAs Payroll.

“The Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme aimed at expanding tax education and awareness has offered the opportunity for tax defaulters to regularise their status in order to enjoy the amnesty of forgiveness on overdue interest, penalties and the assurance of non-prosecution or subject to tax investigations.”

He explained that the Sovereign Wealth Fund project portfolio had been expanded with an injection of $650m so as to strengthen its investment in local infrastructure, power, health, reconstruction of the Abuja-Kano Road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, East-West Road (Section V) and the Mambilla hydro-electric power project as well as the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge.”

Speaking further on the anti-graft war, Buhari noted that the fight against corruption, through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, had resulted in the recovery of billions of naira, as well as the forfeiture of various forms of assets.

He said, “We have retained the services of one of the world’s leading assets tracing firms to investigate and trace assets globally. This is in addition to the exploitation of provisions of existing treaties, conventions as well as bilateral agreements with multilateral bodies and nations. Nigeria has also signed Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements to ensure that there is no hiding place for fugitives.”

Buhari added that through prudent spending and blocking of leakages, the nation’s foreign reserves had improved to $47.5bn as of May, 2018, as against $29.6bn in 2015.

The inflationary rate, he added, had consistently declined every month since January, 2017.

The President, who applauded women for their contributions to national development and advancement of democracy, also urged Nigerians to avoid hatred and intolerance.

This, he said, would help the country to achieve its developmental objectives in an atmosphere of harmony and peaceful co-existence.

He listed his achievements in the last three years to include increase food security programme built around self-sufficiency and minimisation of import dependency.

Specifically, he said rice importation had been cut down by 90 per cent, which he noted had a direct impact on foreign reserves.

Others, he said, included Social Investment Programmes, Home Grown School Feeding Programme, and Conditional Cash Transfer where underprivileged Nigerians were given N5, 000 per month.

The President described the commemoration of 2018 Democracy Day, which is the third anniversary of his administration, as a celebration of freedom for Nigerians.

He said the celebration was also a recommitment by his government to keep its promise to lead Nigeria into a new era of justice and prosperity.

Buhari admitted that his administration had faced challenges in the journey of three years while Nigerians stood by his government in achieving its three cardinal points.

He said, “Today marks the 19th year of our nascent democracy and the 3rd Anniversary of this administration. I am thankful to Almighty God for bringing us thus far.

“This administration came at a time that Nigerians needed change, the change we promised and the change we continue to deliver.

“We have faced a lot of challenges on this journey and Nigerians have stood by us in achieving the three cardinal points of this administration namely; security, corruption and the economy.

“The commemoration of this year’s Democracy Day is a celebration of freedom, a salute to the resilience and determination of Nigerians and a recommitment by Government to keep its promise to lead Nigeria into a new era of justice and prosperity.”

Source: The Punch

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29 May
0

Hardest Things in Programming

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.

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29 May
0

Women in Business

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.

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