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Two Leading presidential candidates make promises to Nigerians.

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Nigeria’s two main presidential candidates, Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, are intensifying their efforts to convince voters, with one month to go to polling in Africa’s most populous nation.

President Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress party (APC) and Atiku of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) both staged set-piece meetings to secure the support of a record 84 million registered voters at the ballot on February 16.



Concerns about electoral fraud are also high, with both the ruling and main opposition party accused of widespread vote-buying at recent gubernatorial polls.

In the past week, the government has faced claims it is trying to manipulate the judiciary after the country’s most senior judge was charged with non-disclosure of assets.

That has triggered concerns he could be replaced with a more sympathetic nominee, who could rule over any disputed result.

Buhari, Atiku and other presidential candidates have been pencilled in to face off in a televised debate this weekend, as campaigning steps up a gear.

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But on Wednesday Buhari made a rare appearance at a live question and answer session, at which he pointedly rejected concerns he was too old and too ill to seek a second term.

The 76-year-old former army general, who headed a military government in the 1980s, last year underwent months of treatment in London for an undisclosed illness.

Before the last election four years ago, he was forced to deny claims from the then-ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that he was terminally ill with prostate cancer.

Asked whether he was fit enough to withstand another four years in office, he said only: “I think we have made our case.”

“Let’s see whether I’m fit or not,” he added.

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The wealthy 72-year-old businessman, who was president Olusegun Obasanjo’s deputy from 1999 to 2007, has been seen as the more business-friendly candidate.

I don’t think he’s pursued the right policies,” he was quoted as saying of Emefiele. Buhari’s stewardship of the economy, meanwhile, had been “clueless”, he added.

Earlier he vowed to “liberalise the economy to create jobs” in Nigeria, where despite being Africa’s leading oil producer, most of the more than 180 million people are poor.

High unemployment has been a persistent problem, particularly among the young.

Atiku also said he was committed to privatising state-run companies such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC).“I swear even if they are going to kill me, I will do it,” he said, characterising them as ‘mafia organisations’.

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Russian: President Putin eases access to citizenship for east Ukraine residents.

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Source: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an order simplifying the procedure for obtaining a Russian passport for residents of the rebel-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

Separatist rebellions broke out against Ukrainian rule in both regions in 2014. Moscow provided military help for the separatists, according to evidence gathered by Reuters, though Russian officials have denied providing material support.

Large swathes of the two regions are now under the de facto control of the Moscow-backed rebels, while Kiev says it is determined to re-assert its control, a position backed by most Western countries.

There was no immediate reaction from Kiev to Putin’s order. Ukrainian officials are likely to react angrily to any indication Moscow is drawing the rebel regions closer into its own orbit.

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Machester Derby – Epl’s Most important Match of the Season

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The Manchester derby today is arguably the most important match of the season as it will determine the comfort of Liverpool on the league table or the come back of Manchester City on top, while it also may determine the place of United in the European leagues next season.

Meanwhile, Manchester City have won five of their last seven Premier League fixtures at Old Trafford (D1, L1), having triumphed in only one of the first 14 visits. A seventh away win for City would be a new Premier League record for overall wins at Old Trafford by a visiting club

Manchester United have Luke Shaw available after suspension but Phil Jones limped off during the defeat at Everton and is not expected to be fit.

Ander Herrera, who has been out for four weeks with a thigh injury, was not part of the squad which arrived at the team hotel on Tuesday.

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne will miss out after sustaining a hamstring problem last weekend.

Claudio Bravo is City’s only other injury absentee

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