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Deadly Russian missile strike claims 51 lives in Ukrainian Village, including child

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Ukraine has reported one of the deadliest incidents in the ongoing conflict, with a Russian missile strike causing the deaths of at least 51 people, including a child.

The strike occurred in a village near the eastern Ukrainian city of Kupiansk on Thursday. It targeted a cafe and shop in Hroza, located in the Kharkiv region, shortly after midday local time, according to Ukrainian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko.

After the strike, scenes unfolded with emergency workers sifting through the extensive rubble. Medical professionals are treating six people injured in the attack. The bodies of the deceased, including a 6-year-old boy, were recovered from the destroyed buildings, as reported by Oleh Synehubov, a regional military official.

The Ukrainian interior minister indicated that 29 victims have been identified, with the remaining bodies taken to facilities in the city of Kharkiv.

The village store was occupied by local residents when the missile struck, leading to devastation not seen since a previous attack on a railway station in Kramatorsk in early 2022, which claimed the lives of over 60 people.

Tragically, the village cafe was hosting a wake for a fallen Ukrainian soldier when the missile struck, resulting in the loss of several members of the soldier’s family, according to Dmytro Chubenko, spokesperson for the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office.

The fallen Ukrainian soldier had previously been buried in the city of Dnipro, but his relatives had wanted him reburied in his hometown. Chubenko explained, “The wake was attended by the son of the deceased, who was also a soldier. The son, along with his wife and mother, were in a cafe and were killed by a rocket.”

The attack has reportedly devastated about one-fifth of the village’s population, which was home to 330 people.

A similar attack occurred in the nearby town of Pervomaiske, where people were also paying their respects to a fallen soldier, according to Chubenko. He noted, “His fellow soldiers were present then. Today, there were only civilians at the site of the attack.”

The missile used in the attack has been identified as an Iskander missile, known for its relatively short range and carrying a warhead of between 500 and 700 kilograms. These missiles have been frequently used by Russian forces against Ukraine, resulting in significant civilian casualties.

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Super Eagles: Tinubu approved payment of outstanding debt he inherited – Minister

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The Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, has disclosed that President Bola Tinubu has exhibited dedication by allocating a significant sum for clearing the outstanding debt inherited by the national team, the Super Eagles.

Enoh also credited Nigeria’s impressive performance at the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), hosted in Côte d’Ivoire, to the collaborative efforts and resolve of all parties involved in Nigerian football.

However, he stressed that there is still substantial work ahead for both the Ministry and the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to raise Nigerian football to its rightful status on the continent and globally.

During a recent media interview, Enoh emphasized the importance of nurturing local football, with a particular focus on enhancing the Nigerian league. He underscored increased funding as a critical element in the overall development of sports.

Enoh’s remarks were conveyed in a statement by Diana-Mary Nsan, S.A. Media to the Honourable Minister of Sports Development on Saturday.

“The success we witnessed at the 2023 AFCON was a result of various factors – firstly, the leadership of the country, Mr. President, showed dedication by allocating a substantial amount to settle the inherited debts owed to the National Team members,” Enoh stated.

“This gave me confidence that things would go well at the AFCON. Additionally, other factors such as the Ministry’s operations, the NFF, and the support of Nigerians contributed to our performance at the AFCON.”

He outlined the next objectives for the nation, which include building on the AFCON momentum and securing qualification for both the 2025 AFCON and the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

“We face the challenge of qualifying for the upcoming AFCON and the 2026 World Cup, but we also need to address other issues. For instance, we aim to resolve coaching matters and return to a phase where foreign-based players compete with local players for national team spots. This entails focusing on our local football to enhance its competitiveness and technical standards, including coaching,” he concluded.

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Insecurity: Obasanjo, Yar’Adua’s presidency can’t be compared to Jonathan, Tinubu’s – Peter Obi

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In light of the security challenges facing Nigerians, Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 elections, has pointed out significant differences between the administrations of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Umaru Musa Yar’Adua compared to that of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and President Bola Tinubu.

Obi highlighted that during Obasanjo’s presidency, state governors held more authority over security matters in their respective states, unlike the current situation. He advocated for empowering state governors with more authority to effectively address security challenges within their domains.

Speaking during a panel discussion at the Annual Lecture and International Leadership Symposium of the Centre for Values in Leadership in Lagos, the former governor of Anambra State recalled how previous presidents authorized governors to take action on security issues.

Obi emphasized the need for a president willing to grant governors the necessary authority to tackle security issues effectively, citing examples from his own experience where he was able to make decisions on security matters with the approval of the president.

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Mburubu chieftaincy tussle: Peace returns to crisis-ridden Enugu community

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The Mburubu kingdom in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State is experiencing a positive turn of events following the resolution of a prolonged crisis related to the selection of a traditional ruler.

Mburubu faced a severe crisis lasting several weeks as the community sought to fill the vacuum left by the late Igwe Emmanuel Muonyelu Ogbuzulu. The situation led to a division within the community, with one faction allegedly supporting Enugu State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Prince Lawrence Ozoemena Ezeh, while the rest of the community took a different stance. The conflict escalated with accusations and counter-accusations, involving even the Chairman of Nkanu East Local Government Area, Hon Sydney Okey Edeh.

However, on Saturday, a sense of normalcy was restored as the opposing factions reconciled, coming together to request Governor Peter Mbah to present the staff of office to the Igwe-elect, Ozo Chief Jerry Patrick Onuokaibe. The event, held at Mburubu Primary School, attracted a large crowd from the community’s five villages.

Speakers at the event expressed joy and described the development as divine. Community leader and former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Nkanu East Local Government Area, Hon Chijioke Nwachukwu, highlighted the significance of the occasion, emphasizing that Chief Onuokaibe had been chosen unanimously to serve as the traditional ruler. Nwachukwu called on the state government to promptly release Chief Onuokaibe’s certificate and staff of office.

Chief Sylvanus Njoku, speaking on behalf of ‘Ndị Nze na Ozo Mburubu,’ and Ozo Raphael Ugwu, Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndịgbo in Enugu South Local Government Area, expressed confidence in Chief Onuokaibe’s leadership and commended the tussle over the throne for its potential to drive progress.

In his response, the Igwe-elect, Chief Onuokaibe, pledged his commitment to the development of the Mburubu community. He expressed gratitude to Governor Peter Ndubuisi Mbah and acknowledged the contributions of Prince Lawrence Ozoemena Ezeh, promising to collaborate with him.

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