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24 Hours Across Africa

Nigeria’s Vice President Survives Helicopter Crash at Kabba

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We are overwhelmed with relief and thanksgiving to the almighty God for his protection over Vice President Yemi Osinbajo whose helicopter crash-landed in Kabba. He and his entire crew are safe his spokesperson, Laolu Akande, said. He is continuing with his engagements and plans for the day in Kogi State.”

Details of the incident were not immediately clear.

It is the second time Mr Osinbajo’s helicopter would crash-land.

In June 2017, he survived a similar accident when the chopper he was traveling in crash-landed shortly after take off in Gwagawalada, Abuja.

He was in the area council to attend the graduation of 40 senior officers of the Nigeria Customs Service.

Mr Osinbajo has been traversing the country extensively as part of the implementation of the Social Intervention Programme of the Buhari administration

The components of the administration’s Social Investment Programmes include the N-Power programme, the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme and the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), which consists of the MarketMoni, FarmerMoni and TraderMoni schemes.Okowa Campaign AD

He was in Benin, Edo State, on Thursday Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Thursday in Benin, Edo State, for the official flag-off of the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHSFP) in the State.

With the addition to Edo State, the number of participating states in the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme has now risen from 26 to 30 out of 36 states nationwide.

The 30 States now participating in Home Grown School Feeding Programme include: Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo; Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta, Osun, Oyo, Ondo and Ogun.

The others are Benue, Niger, Plateau, Kaduna, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Bauchi, Gombe, Borno, Jigawa, Adamawa, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Kogi and Edo states.

The six remaining states – Rivers, Lagos, Ekiti, Kwara, Bayelsa, Yobe and Rivers – and the FCT are set to commence implementation of the programme soon.

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24 Hours Across Africa

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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24 Hours Across Africa

Heavy bombardment leaves at least 17 dead.

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Source: Reuters

At least 17 people were killed on Wednesday in an explosion in the center of Jisr al Shughour, a rebel-held city in northwestern Syria, a day after heavy Russian air strikes in the vicinity, rescue workers and residents said.Several residential buildings collapsed as a result of the blast in Idlib province, near a road between the coastal city of Latakia and city of Aleppo.

“The casualties are expected to rise. The cause is not known,” said Ahmad Yaziji, head of civil defense in the city, adding at least 27 people, mostly civilians, were injured.

Bodies were still being pulled out of the rubble, another rescuer said.

The province and areas around it in northern Syria, the last remaining rebel bastion, have seen an escalation in attacks by Russian warplanes and the Syrian army even though they are protected by a “de-escalation zone” agreement brokered last year between Russia, Iran and Turkey.

The bombardment has sent people fleeing from opposition-held towns in the buffer zone that straddles parts of Idlib to northern Hama and parts of Latakia province.

Turkey, which has supported the rebels and has troops to monitor the truce, has been negotiating with Moscow to halt the Russian strikes with little success.

Russian jets hovered in the sky with missile strikes reported in several villages around Jisr al Shughour, residents said.

Overnight, Russian jets struck western parts of Idlib city and residents said long-range missiles hit several villages surrounding Jisr al Shugour from army positions in Latakia province.

Jisr al Shughour has been a target of heavy bombardment by the Russian air force and the Syrian army in recent weeks. Most of its inhabitants have fled to the safety of areas close to the Turkish border, residents and local officials say.

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