Goodluck Jonathan’s “no-show” at the AU hall sets tongues wagging
Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan today missed the opportunity to give a speech at the ongoing Special Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the African Union (AU).
Two members of President Jonathan’s delegation spoke to SaharaReporters from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia which also serves as the secretariat of the AU. They reported that there was confusion among delegates as well as embarrassment on the part of Nigerian officials when Mr. Jonathan failed to show up in the hall to deliver his speech.
Mr. Jonathan’s “no-show” reportedly set tongues wagging as delegates from other African nations asked confused Nigerian officials why their president did not appear to address the AU on an occasion as important as this year’s assembly. The AU was inaugurated 50 years ago and known for many years as the Organization of African Unity (OAU). In the 1970s and 1980s, Nigeria was one of the organization’s most dynamic members, using international diplomacy as well as funds to push for the liberation of Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Our sources offered conflicting accounts of Mr. Jonathan’s whereabouts. One Nigerian source said he heard that Mr. Jonathan had gone to the toilet when he was called. He added that a presidential insider later said Mr. Jonathan was having a bilateral meeting with a head of state from another African country.
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. Read More