Friday, 27 January 2012
Patience Jonathan Arrives Addis Ababa With 32 Aides
At a time when the people is complaining of excessive waste of money by the people in government, First lady patience Jonathan has traveled to Addis Ababa with 32 aides....This is how Sahara Reporters Reported it
President Goodluck Jonathan’s 25-person delegation to Addis Ababa for the 18th African Union Summit is soundly dwarfed by that of his wife, Patience, who is travelling with a 32-person crowd, according to an initial list of officials traveling with the president.
The trip is the first major test of the two-week old pledge by the President to minimize the scandalously-large travel parties for which he has been known.
Mr. Jonathan is in Ethiopia for the 18th African Union (AU) Summit, the theme of which is “Boosting Intra-African Trade,” while Mrs. Jonathan will attend a nominal African Ladies Forum on the margins. The president dropped from the initial list the Governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke, because of today’s Supreme Court ruling which kicked five governors of the People’s Democratic Party from office. In his place, Jonathan traveled with Dr. Segun Mimiko, the Governor of Ondo State.
Mr. Jonathan, who faces continuing discontent from Nigerians over a steep hike in the price of petrol, had announced during the mass protests he would cut official salaries as well as abuse by his government. He pledged to reduce drastically the number of officials traveling with him on foreign trips, but his first outing following the OccupyNigeria revolt does not seem to have remembered those promises.
As a reflection of Nigeria’s declining influence at the AU, she has no mention at all on the programme, and is not presenting a proposal as a Member State. This parallels its work at the United Nations where, apart from recently serving as a member of the Security Council, she does not participate actively in the work of the Organization.
Of the seven Member State proposals to be considered at this Summit, Togo is responsible for “Integration As Factor of African Renaissance.”
Senegal is also proposing “The Diaspora As Africa’s Sixth Region,” an indication of its appreciation of citizens in the Diaspora. Senegalese citizens abroad vote in their national elections, but Nigeria does not allow such participation. A bill on the subject in the House of Representatives two months ago was rapidly shot down.
In recent years, Nigeria’s foreign policy has lacked leadership and substance. Although the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has three ministers, for instance, in December 2011 it fell to the Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi, to address the end-of-year press conference tagged “Nigeria’s successful outing in the international fora.”
In the statement, Dr. Uhomoibhi listed the successes of a country of 150 million people to be the elections and re-elections of fewer than 10 people into various organizations and positions, most of them irrelevant and unknown.
“It is by no accident that such successes were recorded by us in the international fora,” he said. “Nigeria has come a long way from the shadows and is now in the upland of esteem and approbation of the international community.”