Nigeria Embarrassed As President Jonathan Went Missing During AU Summit in Addis Ababa
It was a huge embarrassment for Nigeria as a nation when its President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan Failed to turn up when called to deliver his scheduled address at the on-going Special Assembly of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
When the president of Nigeria was called upon to address the assembly at the time slot given to him, he was nowhere to be found, much to the consternation of the delegates and the embarrassment of the Nigerian officials there. His name was called repeatedly, but he was not there.
Initially there were reports that he had gone to the toilet when he was called, but another source scoffed at both excuses. “If the president was in the toilet, his aides should have informed the protocol at the summit to delay in calling him to speak. And if the president wanted to hold a bilateral meeting, why should he fix it during the time he was told he would address the assembly??” He added that somebody within Mr. Jonathan’s inner circle disclosed that the Nigerian president had stayed up till late eating and drinking with members of his inner circle. Mr. Jonathan also reportedly spent a long time consulting with some of his governor associates back in Nigeria about ways to push back against the Nigerian Governors Forum that yesterday elected Rivers State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as their chairman. Mr. Jonathan, who has had a long-running political feud with Governor Amaechi, had backed Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State for the post of chairman of the governors’ group. Mr. Jang’s defeat rattled the president
The president later showed up to join at the AU meeting to take part in the photo session, and then he disappeared immediately after. No explanation was given by him for his no-show.
The president’s spokesman, Reuben Abati defended his absence by saying that the president was “busy at work on behalf of Nigerians.”
Abati’s explanation was that the president – for some reason – fixed a meeting with other leaders at the same time when he was supposed to be addressing the meeting. The world leaders, according to Abati, were discussing “issues of bilateral relations.”
“Mr. President was attending on the sidelines of the AU event, at the time Nigeria was called. It was a meeting on Infrastructure in West Africa. It is perfectly normal for Presidents to meet on the sidelines of any international meeting. And as the AU plenary went on yesterday, many Presidents stepped out to hold bilateral meetings, and return to the hall.
“So, as you can see, there is nothing amiss here. President Jonathan was perfectly in order. He did not abandon his duty post. He was in fact busy at work on behalf of Nigerians. I see the mischief that has suddenly erupted around this matter as a classic case of much ado about nothing.”
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