Posts Tagged ‘Goodluck Jonathan’

It was a short stop, just under three hours on the ground, but Nigeria got their farewell visit today from outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton who probably will not be making another trip to Africa in her current post.  Even after she had arrived on the continent, African countries lobbied to get a visit on this trip, and although Nigeria was not on her original itinerary, she did manage to find a way to make the stop.

She was greeted at the airport by Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Viola Onwuliri.  Foreign Minister Olugbenga Ashiru (in tan) accompanied her to the Presidential Villa where she met Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, (the lady in the colorful dress), and President Goodluck Jonathan (in black).

Here are her remarks following her meeting with President Jonathan and his National Security Council.

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Remarks Following Expanded Meeting with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan And the National Security Council


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Presidential Villa
Abuja, Nigeria
August 9, 2012

Well, thank you very much, Mr. President, and those were extremely kind and generous words. But I appreciate that you know how committed the United States and the Obama Administration is to our partnership with your country. We consider it absolutely vital, and through our bi-national commission, which, as you mentioned, has helped us to expand and deepen our cooperation on a full range of issues, we are working on economic matters, the improvement and the productivity of agriculture, education and health, security, the diversification of your economy, and so much more.

We intend to remain very supportive on your reform efforts. Thank you for mentioning the work we did together on the elections. We’re also very supportive of the anticorruption reform efforts, more transparency, and the work that you and your team is also championing, because we really believe that the future for Nigeria is limitless. But the most important task that you face, as you have said, is making sure that there are better opportunities for all Nigerians – north, south, east, west – every young boy and girl to have a chance to fulfill his or her God-given potential. And we want to work with you and we will be by your side as you make the reforms and take the tough decisions that are necessary.

So thank you, Mr. President, for this meeting. (Applause.)

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So far this is all that we have coming out of Nigeria today. Voice Of America is a reliable source.   Here is what they reported of Mme. Secretary’s visit there today.

News / Africa

Clinton Presses Nigeria’s President on Security

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

VOA News

August 09, 2012

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged Nigeria’s president to adopt new strategies to halt escalating violence.

Clinton traveled to the Nigerian capital, Abuja, on Thursday, where she held talks with President Goodluck Jonathan and his security team.

VOA’s correspondent Anne Look, who is traveling with Clinton, said the security talks were to focus on northern Nigeria, where radical Islamist group Boko Haram is blamed for scores of attacks.

Clinton was expected to press for a strategy that addresses grievances that have led to the unrest.

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It appears that Mme. Secretary’s current trip will be extended into next weekend.  The original itinerary posted by DOS had her departing  South Africa for home on Friday August 10.  Last night I shared an article from a Liberian  source stating that HRC and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf would, on August 10, be in Ghana for the funeral of the late President John Atta Mills.

Now Voice of America is announcing that next Saturday,  Mme. Secretary will be in Istanbul over issues related to Syria.

Clinton to Turkey

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to visit Turkey next Saturday to discuss the deteriorating situation in Syria.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in Malawi, Clinton’s latest stop on her African tour, that the U.S. top diplomat is going to Istanbul “for bilateral consultations with the Turkish government on Syria, as well as to cover other timely issues.”

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Will she ever get off that plane and have some summer vacation time?

EDITED TO ADD THIS:  In three-and-a-half years of  following Mme. Secretary’s travels on this blog I have never encountered the level of intrigue and rumor engendered by this Africa trip.  Now there is this.

Hilary Clinton visits Nigeria on August 9

Sunday, 05 August 2012 12:38 Agency Reports

President Goodluck Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati has confirmed that the American Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, will be visiting  to Nigeria on Thursday.

Abati who urged Nigerians to disregard the rumour that Mrs. Clinton had excluded Nigeria from the list of African countries she was billed to visit, said the American Secretary of State is expected to meet President Jonathan.

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Well, yes, Nigeria was among the countries she was expected to visit, but was not on the itinerary released by DOS on July 30, and that itinerary has not been  updated officially.  The Turkish leg of the trip is reliably sourced by VOA, but this source is unverified.  Nothing from DOS or any other U.S. government source confirms this nor do we have any official announcement as to exactly why Nigeria was excluded in the first place – rumors swirl around that issue as well.  After a false report last night put her erroneously on the ground in South Africa, this also raises some skepticism.  Why, if she were going to visit Nigeria, would she not have stopped there on the east African leg of her trip?  Why double back?  (Unless President Jonathan indeed was himself on a trip when she was in the region last week.)

It is highly unlikely that there will be another Africa trip in these  waning days of Mme. Secretary’s tenure at State.  Apparently every African head of state would like to be able to host her before she steps down.

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Well, this is sad. I think he really was trying. You might remember this picture from  Mme. Secretary’s visit to Nigeria in August of last year. The President of Nigeria, ill for months, has passed away. His VP, Goodluck Jonathan,  has been Acting President for a few months now, but will now, I guess, become President officially. He met with President Obama not long ago.

I must include a short, mild rant since the article I am linking to comes from CNN from which I switched only 20 minutes ago, and there was not a word about this. Neither was there on the network news.

Nigerian President Yar’Adua has died
By the CNN Wire Staff

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN) — Nigeria’s ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua, who gave amnesty to armed militants in the troubled oil-rich Niger Delta region, died Wednesday, the country’s information minister said. He was 58.

Yar’Adua had not been seen in public since November, when he went to Saudi Arabia for treatment of an inflammation of tissue around his heart. He was diagnosed with that condition, acute pericarditis, last fall after he complained of chest pain.

He returned to Nigeria in February but had remained out of sight.

Vice President Goodluck Jonathan has served as the country’s acting leader since Yar’Adua fell ill.

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Below he was addressing the U.N. General Assembly last September.

Condolences to the People of Nigeria.

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