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Jonathan Again Changes His Mind About Attending UN General Assembly

September 20, 2010

Nigeria's president, Goodluck Jonathan, may be headed for the United Nations General Assembly in New York after all.  

Nigeria's president, Goodluck Jonathan, may be headed for the United Nations General Assembly in New York after all.  

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Presidency sources told Saharareporters that in response to reports, he may have changed his mind about attending the high level meeting of Heads of State and Government, which began today, and that his 100-strong presidential delegation has been put on standby in preparation for departure for New York for Tuesday night departure from Abuja.

The Nigerian leader was listed as the Number 6 speaker today at the UN session, according to the UN schedule published earlier by Saharareporters.   We had also first reported on Saturday that Jonathan had canceled his trip to the US amidst political and security concerns, a story that was corroborated by a New York Times article published yesterday.

The question now is whether the damage has not already been done.  By the time Jonathan arrives in New York on Wednesday morning, September 22, the critical High Level summit on the Millennium Development Goals and associated round table discussions, from which he excused himself at the weekend, would have ended.  In addition, most Heads of State may have filled out their schedules as they take advantage of their common presence in New York to hold important bilateral side meetings.  

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A presidency source told Saharareporters that Jonathan decided to travel to New York to put to rest the worrisome suspicion that he is not in control of the various power structures, especially after his National Security Adviser, Aliyu Gusau, resigned earlier on Friday. 

The source, who did not want to be named, said that contrary to the impression that Jonathan has not received the total endorsement of Northern politicians, he has surprisingly received “almost 99%” of their from northern political leaders. He said Jonathan’s confidence to travel to New York is buoyed by the “quick and almost total collapse” of opposition to his presidential bid by his party, the People’s Democratic Party.

Should Jonathan actually make the trip, sources say he is scheduled to speak to the 65th General Assembly in the general debate on Friday. 



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