President Buhari Condemns Terrorist Attack In Florida

buhari-sadPresident Muhammadu Buhari has condemned Sunday’s terrorist attack on the Pulse Night Club, Orlando, Florida, describing it as ‘‘criminal’’ and ‘‘cowardly’’. 

In a letter to the Ambassador of the United States in Nigeria, James Entwistle, President Buhari conveyed Nigeria’s heartfelt sympathy to President Barrack Obama and the people of United States of America.

The President also assured the United States of Nigeria’s continued support and cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

‘‘President Buhari extends his most sincere condolences to the families, relatives and friends of the victims.

‘‘The President condemns such criminal, cowardly attack, wherever it might occur, as an attack on all decent, democratic, peaceful people.

“Every terrorist attack only strengthens Nigeria’s resolve to stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States and other countries in the frontline of the war on terror,’’ the letter, which was signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari read.

President Buhari also called ‘‘on all peace-loving nations to commit themselves whole-heartedly to multilateral cooperation and collaborative actions aimed at eradicating the scourge of international terrorism.’’

Various Americans on Monday made statements in connection to the killings that took place in Orlando, central Florida in the United States.

A rampage had occurred on Sunday at a gay nightclub, with at least 50 people killed and 53 more wounded.

In his White House briefing, President Barack Obama said Americans were bonded in grief, outrage and “resolve to defend our people”, after “an act of terror and an act of hate”.Orlando Shooting

He described the incident as the ‘worst mass shooting in U.S. history’ and ordered that the American flags be lowered to half-staff to honor the victims of the attack.

Obama, Biden Others React To Orlando Killings

Barack Obama, Joe Biden, OrlandoVarious Americans on Monday made statements in connection to the killings that took place in Orlando, central Florida in the United States.

A rampage had occurred on Sunday at a gay nightclub, with at least 50 people killed and 53 more wounded.

In his White House briefing, President Barack Obama said Americans were bonded in grief, outrage and “resolve to defend our people”, after “an act of terror and an act of hate”.Orlando Shooting

He described the incident as the ‘worst mass shooting in U.S. history’ and ordered that the American flags be lowered to half-staff to honor the victims of the attack.

In a statement by his spokesman, Vice President Joe Biden “offered his prayers for all those killed and injured in the shooting and sends his condolences to all the families and loved ones of the victims”.

“Grudge In His Heart”

US presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, on her part said the attack was a tragedy that required a serious response.

Also reacting to the shooting was the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus who issued a statement saying they were “horrified by the tragic shooting”.

Seddique Mateen, the father of the attacker, Omar Mateen, said he did not know that his son had a “grudge in his heart”.

Omar was shot dead by the police.

Mr Mateen said he did not understand why his son carried out the shooting at the Pulse nightclub.

He had earlier said his son was angered after seeing two men kissing in Miami.

According to the BBC, in a statement posted online and addressed to people in his native Afghanistan, Seddique Mateen said his son was “a very good boy”, who had a wife and a child.

“I don’t know what caused it,” he said. “I never figured out that he had a grudge in his heart….I am grief-stricken.”

Obama Admits Losing People’s Confidence On Healthcare Law

Normally brimming with self-confidence, President Barack Obama showed an emotion on Thursday he rarely shares with Americans: humility.

He strode to a White House podium with a jarring admission: He believes he has lost the confidence of the American people and deserves the blame for the rocky rollout of his signature healthcare law.

The concession was indirect, to be sure, as he spoke of “winning back the confidence of the American people,” but nonetheless was unusual in the history of the American presidency, let alone in modern, never-admit-a-mistake Washington.

“There are times I thought we were kind of slapped around unjustly,” Obama said, referring to previous criticism aimed his way over the past five years. “This one’s deserved.”

The healthcare law known as Obamacare – seen as Obama’s biggest domestic policy achievement – was designed to bring affordable health insurance to millions of uninsured Americans.

But the launch of a government website to enable people to obtain insurance policies has been marred by technical problems that have often rendered it inaccessible. In addition, insurance companies have canceled millions of existing policies that failed to meet the law’s requirements.

Obama’s comments came as he announced a fix designed to stem the wave of cancellations.

Left unspoken was what sort of fix Obama might make in his staff or in how he advances policy objectives with three years left in office and many legislative priorities still unfulfilled, including immigration reform.

Obama admitted that he was never “informed directly” about looming problems with the website launched on October 1.

There was no doubt, he added in yet another remarkable mea culpa, that his oft-repeated promise had turned out to be not accurate – that under his law Americans would be able to keep their health insurance plans if they liked them.

ROAD TO REDEMPTION

If the first step on the road to redemption is an acknowledgment of the problem, Obama did himself a favor.

“It’s very striking to hear a president talking that way,” said presidential historian Michael Beschloss.

“Usually it’s a JFK saying he was ‘the responsible officer of the government’ after Bay of Pigs,” the botched CIA-sponsored invasion of Cuba in 1961 during John F. Kennedy’s presidency, he added.

“Or Nixon, after Watergate began, that he would ‘accept’ responsibility,” Beschloss said, referring to the scandal that led to President Richard Nixon’s 1974 resignation.

“Presidents are reluctant to say they’re sorry,” added presidential historian Thomas Alan Schwartz of Vanderbilt University. “I think he’s hurt by the perception of incompetence. That’s not good for any president to look incompetent.”

Obama has drawn criticism in recent weeks for an inability to ensure that his policies are being properly implemented.

“I think it was necessary to do that,” said Democratic strategist Bob Shrum, referring to Obama’s mea culpa.

Obama was forced to make his public appearance in part by Democrats who see the problems with the implementation of a healthcare law that they backed in Congress as damaging their re-election chances in the November 2014 mid-term elections.

Public opinion polls have caused alarm bells to ring among congressional Democrats, notably a Quinnipiac University survey this week that put Obama’s approval rating at 39 percent.

The party that holds the White House typically loses congressional seats during mid-term elections, and the risk rises if a president’s job approval rating is below 50 percent.

Obama’s 39 percent rating put him at the same level that his Republican predecessor George W. Bush experienced at the same point in his presidency.

“President Obama’s misstatement, ‘If you like your health plan, you can keep it,’ left a bad taste with a lot of people,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Nearly half of the voters, 46 percent, think he knowingly deceived them.”

‘BURDEN ON DEMOCRATS’

Obama said he felt personally responsible for the political challenges his fellow Democrats face.

“There is no doubt that our failure to roll out the ACA (Affordable Care Act) smoothly has put a burden on Democrats, whether they’re running or not, because they stood up and supported this,” he said.

“I feel deeply responsible for making it harder for them, rather than easier for them, to continue to promote … the core values that I think led them to support this thing in the first place,” Obama added.

Behind the scenes at the White House, the problems with the healthcare law consume meeting after meeting. Administration officials are trying to assure Obama’s allies that they know they have to get the problems ironed out by the end of the year.

The mood behind the scenes, said one Democratic official with close ties to the White House, was one of sober determination.

“They know they don’t have an easy haul here. There’s no sense of panic. There’s a sense that they got to be on top of the execution day after day, that they can’t screw anything up,” he said.

Analyst Says Fight For LG Autonomy Is About Abuja Money

A legal practitioner and a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Bisi Adegbuyi, on Monday, said that the on-going clamour by local governments to become autonomous is all “about money coming from Abuja”.

“Sever that and you won’t hear about the autonomy issue.” He added.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, he said that the move to give local governments power is against the constitution, adding that, “we are trying to create three tiers of government because some guys want to also create a freedom for themselves at the local government level.”

“It’s either you want to practice federalism or unitarism, make up your mind,” he said.

“The trouble with us is that we have tied the so called local government autonomy to this rent-sharing mentality of going to Abuja to collect money.”

The way forward is ‘simple’.

“Identify the fundamentals (two tiers of government) and then leave the states to determine whether they want to have 1000 local governments, 500 community development centres as the case maybe.”

Citing other nations like the United States of America and Brazil, he said the one-size-fit-all equation will not work as different states have different needs and challenges.

Mr Adegbuyi also said that the constitution amendment is a “journey to nowhere” because “there are so many contending interests. Therefore, the more we try to amend this incurably flawed constitution, the more we run into troubled waters.”

He added that in light of the ‘discordant tunes from the Senate and House of Representatives,’ the amendment process “is going to be cosmetic”.

“We have wasted our time, we have wasted resources,” he said.