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Plane Crashes in Cuba, Kills 102 Passengers

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No fewer than 102 persons lost their lives on Friday after a Boeing 737 plane crashed shortly after taking off from Havana’s main airport in Cuba.

There were at least three possible survivors among the 105 passengers as well as nine crew, Cuban state-run media reported, adding that there were five children on board.

According to Reuters, earlier reports on state media said there were 104 passengers.

The number of casualties was not immediately known, but Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, visiting the site of the crash, told Agence France Presse, “it appears there is a high number of victims.”

Wreckage was strewn over the area and ambulances and firefighters were at the scene, a Reuters witness said. The fire had been put out, and blackened parts of the fuselage could be seen.

“We heard an explosion and then saw a big cloud of smoke go up,” said Gilberto Menendez, who runs a restaurant near the crash site in the agricultural area of Boyeros, 20km (12 miles) south of Havana.

A worker at Havana’s Calixto Garcia hospital told Reuters three victims of the accident had arrived so far. One had died from burns and other trauma and the other two were in a serious state.

“She is alive but very burnt and swollen,” said a distressed relative of one of the survivors at the hospital.

The flight was destined for Holguin and was leased by airline Cubana from a small Mexican airline called Damojh or Global, Cuban state media said. Cubana declined to comment.

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Just In: Fifth Columnists in the Presidency Working Against Tinubu, Says El-Rufai

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By Michael Effiong

Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has revealed that there are some fifth columnists in the presidency who want the All Progressives Congress ( APC) to lose the 2023 Presidential election.

Speaking on Channels TV flagship programme, Sunrise Daily, Governor El-Rufai affirmed that there was serious division in the APC Presidential Campaign Council.

He stated that some people in the Presidency because Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was not their preferred candidate are working against his interest.

He noted that the Naira redesign was not an APC problem but a Presidency problem, urging Nigerians to ignore their current situation and still vote for Tinubu as a person.

On the fuel crisis, he said fuel subsidy had been a problem for many years and that it was President Buhari and not APC that has insisted on the subsidy which is costing the nation a whopping six Trillion Naira.

He revealed that as far back as 2016, Buhari had been advised to remove subsidy but he had bluntly refused.

Governor El Rufai used the opportunity to hail his tenure in Kaduna State, noting that his government has attracted over $4billion worth of investments to the state.

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Atiku Vows to Construct Funtua-Gusau-Sokoto Road, Reiterates End to Banditry

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the February 25 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, has pledged to reconstruct the Funtua-Gusau-Sokoto road, if elected. He also promised to float empowerment programmes that will combat poverty among the citizens.

Atiku made the pledges on Tuesday in Sokoto while addressing a crowd of supporters at his presidential campaign rally.

The PDP presidential candidate also pledged to end the security challenges bedevilling the nation, ensure stability for profitable farming, grazing as well as reopen the nation’s borders to bolster business activities.

He urged citizens to support PDP candidates at all levels at the forthcoming elections, vowing that a PDP-led administration would curb social, economic and infrastructural decay in the country.

Mr Atiku had inaugurated a remodelled presidential lodge and the Dandima flyover bridge constructed by the Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s administration.

The PDP presidential flag bearer also paid homage on the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad III, after an interactive session with community and traditional rulers in the state.

Earlier, the PDP National Chairman, Dr Ayochia Ayu, presented the party’s flag to PDP governorship candidate in the State, Sa’idu Umar and received scores of defectors from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Mr Ayu described the Sokoto rally as home coming and enjoined party loyalists to use their PVCs to change the national government as well as sustain the achievements of Tambuwal.

Leader of the defectors, Amb. Faruku Yabo, said the PDP-led administration in the state had the people’s interests at heart, and it was capable of surmounting the national challenges.

The event witnessed presentations from various party chieftains on the ways to address the challenges being faced by the citizens.

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Atiku Promises to End Banditry, Reconstruct Bakalori Dam in Zamfara

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said a PDP-led Federal Government will end banditry in Zamfara State.

Atiku, who was in Gusau on Monday for a campaign rally, also promised to reconstruct Bakalori Dam to aid irrigation farming in the state. He noted that apart from Borno and Yobe states, Zamfara State has paid dearly for the spate of insecurity in the country, which he blamed on the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government.

“They brought insecurity, poverty, and disunity; our youth are not going to school because teachers are not paid in secondary and tertiary institutions.

“With your vote, you will expunge them. I promise to restore peace and security in Nigeria. I have done it in the past (and) I see no reason why with your support and backing, by the grace of God, there won’t be peace in Nigeria,” the PDP candidate asserted.

He promised to work with the state government to revitalise the closed down textile companies, adding that businessmen would be supported with capital to open and go into textile production for job generation.

“We will open (closed) borders because it is not in line with the law. Our borders are closed while others are open; there is no justice in this,” he noted.

The vice presidential candidate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, expressed confidence that PDP would secure over 80 per cent votes in Zamfara State.

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