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President Buhari Finally Breaks Silence on Southern Kaduna Killings

Ayandola Ayanleke

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After weeks of keeping silent of the Southern Kaduna killings and criticisms from Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari has finally broken his silence.

Through a press statement Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, made available to newsmen late Thursday evening, the president expressed his condolences and regret over the incidence.

“On the directive of President Buhari, the Inspector-General of Police was in the region on Saturday and Sunday to assess the situation at first hand. In addition to the conventional policemen deployed in the area, a squadron of mobile policemen has now been stationed there.”

“The Nigerian army is also in the process of setting up two battalions in Southern Kaduna while the military continues to carry out air surveillance across flash points of the area. President Buhari has equally directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to carry out a joint assessment of the situation with the sister agency in Kaduna, SEMA, to determine the level of response required for urgent aid to the victims of the violence.”

“These measures should soon ensure the return of normalcy to the region, while the Kaduna State government continues its peace building efforts. The President commended efforts of the State government and the security agencies in the steps taken so far to curtail the violence.”

“President Buhari has, once again, sent condolences to the people of Southern Kaduna, who have lost loved ones in the recent violence.”

© 2017, Ayandola Ayanleke. All rights reserved.

Ayandola Ayanleke is a reporter for Premium Herald. She focuses on political and entertainment news. Ayandola studied History and Strategic Studies in the University of Lagos. She has been a contributor with Premium Herald for over 2 years now.

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Barack Obama picks Nigerian artist, Kehinde Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait

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Former US president Barack Obama has selected New-York based artist, Kehinde Wiley, to paint his official portrait.

Following a tradition that started with George H. Bush, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery commissions an artist to create a portrait of the president and the first lady after their tenure. Obama’s predecessors have preferred to sit for 90-year old portrait artist Everett Raymond Kinstler, who has painted eight US presidents, but Obama chose to go with Kehinde. The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery made the announcement yesterday.

Barack Obama picks Nigerian artist, Kehinde Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait

Former first lady Michelle Obama has chosen Baltimore-based painter Amy Sherald to paint her portrait. Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald will be the first black artists to create official presidential portraits for the Smithsonian.

Kehinde Wiley is known for lush, larger-than-life portraits that overlay black street culture with European classical motifs. He is believed to be an exciting choice for the presidential portrait. Throughout his career, Kehinde has become renowned for creating portraits of African American men, including the Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, Ice T, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Michael Jackson, and more.

Barack Obama picks Nigerian artist, Kehinde Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait

Kehinde was born to a Nigerian dad and an African-American mom. He did not grow up with his father, so at the age of 20, he traveled to Nigeria to explore his roots and meet him.

Kehinde’s mother supported his interest in art and enrolled him in after-school art classes when he was a child. He earned his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1999 and his MFA from Yale University, School of Art in 2001.

© 2017, Ikrueyen Vickky. All rights reserved.

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Trump to stop paying Obamacare subsidies for the poor

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<img src="http://www.premiumherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/59e0c74f96a3c-300×261.png" alt="" width="300" height="261" class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-34677"
President Donald Trump plans to end a key set of Obamacare subsidies that helped lower-income Americans pay for health care.

The White House made it known that the Trump Administration would end the Affordable Care Act's cost-sharing reduction payments. The Act particularly helps people earning between 100 percent and 250 percent of the poverty level pay for the insurance and health care they get.

The dramatic move by the Trump administration raises questions about the law's future. Health care experts have warned that not paying the subsidies could send the health insurance exchanges into turmoil.

The payments, which started under the Obama administration, had been continued by President Trump but on Thursday the White House said since there was no appropriation for it, "the Government cannot lawfully make the cost-sharing reduction payments."

The White House said in a statement: "The bailout of insurance companies through these unlawful payments is yet another example of how the previous administration abused taxpayer dollars and skirted the law to prop up a broken system. Congress needs to repeal and replace the disastrous Obamacare law and provide real relief to the American people."

The announcement is part of Trump's aggressive push to dismantle aspects of Obama's signature health law after several failed attempts by Congress to repeal it earlier this year. In a series of tweets Friday morning, Trump called on Democrats to reach out to him to "fix" the law, which he called a "broken mess."

Trump tweeted: "The Democrats ObamaCare is imploding. Massive subsidy payments to their pet insurance companies has stopped. Dems should call me to fix!"

The news was not received well by Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill. In a joint statement, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the move “a spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage.”

The leaders said in a statement: “Sadly, instead of working to lower health costs for Americans, it seems President Trump will singlehandedly hike Americans’ health premiums. Make no mistake about it, Trump will try to blame the Affordable Care Act, but this will fall on his back and he will pay the price for it.”

But GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, defended the President’s decision to CNN’s Chris Cuomo on CNN’s “New Day” Friday morning.

“These (cost sharing reduction) payments are in fact illegal. The President said he is no longer going to engage in making these payments, so let’s move forward and do what we should have done a long time ago,” he said, later adding, “Obamacare is a mess and we need to replace the whole thing, repeal the whole thing.”

In a statement issued shortly after Thursday’s announcement, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., said the decision “preserves a monumental affirmation of Congress’s authority and the separation of powers.”

“Obamacare has proven itself to be a fatally flawed law, and the House will continue to work with Trump administration to provide the American people a better system,” Ryan said.

© 2017, Sunday Emmanuel. All rights reserved.

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guard arrested for sexual assault on 54 primary school girls in South Africa

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A 57-year-old Sowetan man working as a security guard at a school in Orlando East, was arrested on Monday night for the alleged sexual assault on 54 primary school girls.

According to reports, the man whose identity is yet to be revealed was arrested after two girls, a Grade 2 and Grade 6 learners accused him of sexually assaulting them. After the Principal of the school instructed teachers to question the girls in their classes, they came up with a list of 54 alleged victims.

Speaking to The Star, a mother whose 6-year-old daughter is alleged to have been one of the guard’s victims spoke about what her child had been subjected to as she could barely contain her tears.

According to the woman, she received a message from her daughter’s father on Tuesday morning, telling her to go to the local clinic immediately, because “something bad has happened to our daughter”.

“When I arrived at the clinic, I was informed that my daughter had been sexually abused and I broke down.

“The nurse asked my daughter what had happened and my daughter told her that mkhulu (grandpa) keeps touching her inappropriately, saying the security guard had put his fingers in her vaginal area,” she said.

The girl told both her parents and the nurse that it had happened “on a regular basis”, the mother said.

When asked about her daughter’s state of mind, the distraught mother said her child was traumatised, she can’t stop crying – “especially when she sees me. She is refusing to go back to school”.

“I’m worried about what will happen to my daughter when she grows up – how long will this trauma affect her? I’m worried that she could be damaged psychologically.

“My wish is that she receives counselling, because I’m in a state and I don’t know how I’m going to assist my child,” she said.

Confirming the incident, Police spokesperson Captain Nomvula Mbense said the guard was apprehended after a parent complained to the principal that her daughter had been violated.

“The principal requested the teachers to question the girls in their classes (on Monday), where a list of 54 alleged victims was drawn up.”

The suspected paedophile is expected to appear in the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on charges of sexually assaulting minors.

© 2017, Ikrueyen Vickky. All rights reserved.

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