As Nigerians lament the abrupt departure of President Goodluck Jonathan for Brazil in the middle of violence and counter-violence in the North, SaharaReporters has gathered that the Nigerian ruler arrived at his destination with 116 men and women, the largest national delegation, contrary to his pledge in January to travel at less weight and expense.
Our sources say the team is made up of:
• 25 personal aides
• 18 aides of Patience Jonathan
• 2 members of the National Assembly
• 5 Ministers
• 2 Governors, and
The junket will continue for Mr. Jonathan next week Thursday when he will be in Brussels for the World Customs Conference, scheduled for June 28-30. He will be taking with him about 57 people, including 26 aides, 3 Ministers, 8 members of the National Assembly, and 20 other government officials.
From June 25 to 29, Mrs. Jonathan will be in Maryland, United States, accompanied by 36 people: 18 aides, 4 wives of Governors, and 14 friends and associates.
Nigerian political parties yesterday lambasted Mr. Jonathan’s decision to leave for Brazil, just hours after violence and counter-violence had reportedly resulted in over 74 dead and hundreds injured. On Sunday, the president called on God to intervene in the violence.
But he has also promised to see to the end of the Islamic militant group militant Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad, widely-known as Boko Haram, this month. After he made that pledge in April, the militants promised to make June a bloody month in order to prove that Jonathan has no power over them. Some helpless Christians have in the past few days resorted to reprisal attacks against Muslims.
Only yesterday, as Jonathan hopped on one of his gleaming new executive jets and left the chaos in Nigeria behind, Boko Haram notified SaharaReporters that it would launch even more devastating attacks on churches and government buildings in the coming days.
The group’s contact person said Boko Haram had line up about 300 suicide bombers to attack churches in Southern Kaduna and in Plateau State in its determination to exact considerable revenge for the Muslims killed in Christian reprisals in the last few days.