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Leicester must win title to go down in history



Claudio Ranieri warned his Leicester City players on Friday that their remarkable Premier League title challenge will be forgotten unless they claim the trophy.
The Foxes are odds-on favourites to finish the season on top after mounting the most amazing title bid in the history of the Premier League.

But despite their season capturing the imagination of the football public, the manager has insisted they will only go down in history if they hold off the challenge from Tottenham Hotspur and claim top spot.

“We made a good story, but to make something you will remember in 30 or 40 years we have to win,” said Ranieri, whose side host West Ham United on Sunday.

“We don’t achieve anything yet. We have to fight to achieve the Champions League.

“Football is very strange. If you weren’t here in Leicester but somewhere else, maybe Chelsea or Manchester United, with seven points more, you would say ‘it is finished’.

“At this moment you don’t think this. Why? Because we are Leicester. We have to fight and we have to be focused and strong.”

Leicester have lost just three games all season and will carry a healthy lead into their final five games of their season, starting with West Ham.

Their success was recognised this week when three Foxes players – N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy – were included on the shortlist for the PFA player of the season award.

And Ranieri says it is impossible to choose between the trio.

He said: “I am very proud because they deserve it. They are doing a fantastic performance in every match and I hope one of them can win.

“They are like three sons for me. If one son wins I am very happy.”

Last weekend’s victory at Sunderland secured a top-four finish for Leicester which, barring a Champions League title for Manchester City, guarantees a place in the Champions League qualifiers.

But Ranieri is still refusing to discuss a title challenge until his players have gone a step further and secured automatic entry to the group stages.

He said: “I love to hear the Champions League music but now we have to fight again.

“No, we are in the ‘previews’ but we have to fight again to achieve the Champions League.

“I am very focused on the next game. I want to focus on West Ham.

“You have a short memory. What we have now is the qualifiers of the Champions League – one match. I want to play six matches.

“Now we have to be focused on the next thing. The next thing is the Champions League.

“It is two matches and two matches is not the Champions League. I don’t think there is the music.

“I love the music. I think it will be a fantastic achievement.

“From the dream arrives the reality. But let’s wait! For me it’s important to try to win the next match.

“I don’t want to do something or say ‘we want to achieve that’. If we achieve the Champions League I want to fight more and more. That’s my mentality.”

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Military neutralises terrorist kingpin, others in Niger air strikes – NAF



The Air Component of Operation Whirl Punch, has eliminated a dreaded terrorist and kidnap kingpin, Yellow Jambros, and scores of other terrorists in airstrikes in Shiroro Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger.

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) made this known in a statement by the Director, Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, on Sunday in Abuja.

Gabkwet said the terrorists met their end while attempting to cross the Jikudna River in Galadima Kogo District, heading towards Wurukuvhi axis of Chikun LGA.

He said that Yellow Jambros and his cohorts were trailed from Zamfara into Niger riding 13 motorcycles along the Kaduna-Niger State border, precisely heading towards Kusasu in Shiroro, prior to the strike.

“At Kusasu, five other motorcycle-riding terrorists joined Yellow Jambros’ convoy, bringing the total number of motorcycles to 18, which then headed to the bank of River Jikudna.

“At the river bank, the terrorists and their 18 motorcycles boarded a large motor-powered canoe in an attempt to cross and link up with other terrorists across the river.

“It was at this point that the authorisation to undertake a strike was given.

“The precision strike was adjudged effective as it neutralised Yellow Jambros and his colleagues, destroyed their motorcycles and sank the boat.

“Though it was unusual for terrorists riding in a convoy of 18 motorcycles to travel in broad daylight, it was apparent that Yellow Jambros and his cohorts had assumed that air strikes were suspended following the unfortunate incident at Tudun Biri in Kaduna State and wanted to exploit the perceived window of opportunity,” he said.

The NAF spokesman said that Yellow Jambros and his cohorts had been responsible for several kidnappings and killings along the Abuja-Kaduna Road and in several communities in Kaduna, Niger, Katsina and Zamfara States.

He said a kidnap kingpin, known as Mohammed Sani, who arrested by the Police in Zamfara in October 2020 for murdering over 50 of his victims due to their inability to mobilise ransom, had claimed that he worked for Yellow Jambros.

According to Gabkwet, the terrorist revealed that Yellow Jambros usually supplied him with fake military and police uniforms, guns and other weapons needed to execute his operation.

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ECOWAS meeting holding in Abuja



The 64th Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Heads of State and Government is holding in Abuja, Nigeria.

The session, to be chaired by President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria, is attended by Heads of State and Government in the 15-member block.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that countries like Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone are already at the venue at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Other members attending are Benin, Gambia, Togo, Cape Verde and Senegal.

The ECOWAS Commission and other stakeholders like former President Goodluck Jonathan, the U.S. Lead diplomat for Africa, Molly Phee, the African Union (AU), and the UN Secretary General Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Leonado Simao, are also attending the meeting

The end-of-year meeting is expected to review various decisions and agreements taken and initiated by the body including that of the adoption of the ECO as a common currency for the region.

The issue of the coup d’etat in Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea would also be deliberated on by the regional body at this meeting.

Other issues are climate change, democracy, bilateral relations as well as the African Continental free Trade Agreement.

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Tragedy: 16 dead, 27 injured in Kaduna-Abuja expressway auto-crash – FRSC



The Federal Road Safety Corps(FRSC), Kaduna Sector Command says no fewer than 16 persons died and 27 sustained  injuries in a road crash on Kaduna-Abuja expressway.
The Sector Commander, Mr Kabir Nadabo,  told the newsmen that the fatal road traffic crash occurred at Audu Jhangon village along the expressway on Sunday.
He explained that the crash occurred at 05:20hrs, when a vehicle( DAF TRAILER) with registration number KUJ 430XC, with overloaded goods, lost control and fell into a ditch.
” Initial reports indicate the driver was at high speed, probably due to fatigue.
“The combined rescue teams of RS1.114 Zhipe Unit Command and RS1.16B Dutse Outpost conducted the rescue operations.
“The crash involved 65 people, where 27 were injured and 16 people were deceased.
“The injured have been taken to the nearest hospital for treatment, “he added.
Nadabo said on receiving news of the crash, he visited the scene to have first-hand information as well as direct rescue team on the evacuation of the deceased to the morgue.
“I also directed the tow truck to remove part of the accidented trailer blocking part of the road. The operation is ongoing, and the road is free for movement, “Nadabo said
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