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For Real? How Jonathan Made Nigeria Proud In Washington Dc

How Jonathan Made Nigeria Proud In Washington DC

From Laolu Akande, Washington DC

THERE are indications Nigeria's dwindling fortunes on the global scene may have started to undergo a positive turnaround, especially at the United States and the United Nations, according to informed sources.

According to feelers, Acting President Goodluck Jonathan's recent visit to the United States may have offered Nigeria a new lease of life in the US and on the wider global scene, going by comments in Washington DC about the four-day visit from Sunday to Wednesday, last week.

Jonathan, who simply became the toast of the US capital city on arrival, last Sunday "met all who mattered" in Washington DC and was actively sought after by several US groups and international agencies. In all the meetings, opened to public, there were not enough rooms for Nigerians and Americans, diplomats, businessmen, top officials and others who wanted engagement with the Nigerian leader.

At one of the several meetings to which the Acting president was invited on Wednesday, hosted by the Corporate Council for Africa, CCA, a Caucasian American attendee, stood up and openly declared that the Acting President Jonathan has within a few days in the US "repaired the reputation of Nigeria" by his visit and the level and warmth of welcome that he enjoyed. A ready applause from the luncheon room greeted the observation.

Besides, while the Acting President was returning, the deputy assistant Secretary of State for Africa, William Fitzgerald, said publicly on Thursday, in Washington DC, that "Nigeria is important to stability and progress worldwide, as well in Africa," emphasising the closeness of U.S.-Nigeria ties.

"Nigeria is very important," Fitzgerald, stressed, adding that, "on the continent, it is the most populous nation, the largest contributor of peacekeepers, the largest producer of oil, and the largest recipient of direct investment by the American private sector."

"Whether providing critical leadership in ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), engagement in West Africa, or, from the perspective of its current seat on the U.N. Security Council, Nigeria plays a role far beyond its own borders," the U.S. official added, corroborating what, according to observers, indicates the final restoration of a positive rhetoric from the US government on Nigeria.

In a particular instance, two leading US business groups were competing for longer periods of time to host the Acting President in the US capital city, indicating what government officials, both in the US and Nigeria, say is a new window of opportunity for Nigeria's image abroad.

CCA, a think tank for US-based business concerns and leaders in Africa and the Atlantic Council, a competing council, battled for influence as the latter was almost being sidelined in favour of the CCA, until an influential US-based Nigerian threw his weight behind the Atlantic Council.

In the end, Dr. Jonathan met both councils on the last day of his visit, and in the event, even the former world-renowned American folk hero, retired war general and former secretary of State Colin Powell, showed up at the Atlantic Council meeting with the Acting President.

At the White House, informed sources say the new Nigerian Ambassador, Professor Ade Adefuye, had impressed it upon the US President on the need to personally receive the Nigerian Acting president during the summit, an idea Obama was said to have readily agreed to.

Also the new Ambassador tabled the issue of the terror watch list, explaining Nigeria's determination to be a positive voice against terrorism well before the Abdulmutallab incident in December. The Ambassador was reported to have explained at the White House that an anti-terrorism bill was already before the National Assembly, even before the last year Christmas day terror attempt in Detroit.

Few days after, the US government announced new airport security measures, which meant Nigeria and Nigerians were no longer singled out for enhanced airport screening. Within a week of that announcement, a visit to Nigeria was set up by the US Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, whose department had, in January, made the determination to include Nigeria and Nigerians under the enhanced airport screening after the Abdulmutallab incident.

About the same time the State Department announced that the US government was also now ready to grant a long-held request of Nigeria for the resumption of a US-Nigerian Bi-national Commission, which had been in place between the two countries in the era of Bill Clinton as President but was suspended afterwards during the George W. Bush tenure.

US government sources say Nigeria is the first country in Africa under the Obama administration to enjoy such an agreement. It was signed just a week ahead of the Jonathan visit. Incidentally, soon after Nigeria signed the Bi-National Commission with the US, the South Africans also quickly got a similar deal with the US government, which was announced last Thursday after the departure of the Acting President. The US-South African agreement was named a Strategic Dialogue, raising press enquiries at the State Department that this was happening so soon after the US-Nigerian Bi-National Commission.

It was gathered that even the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, sent words that he would like to personally meet and know the Acting President, while he, the UN leader, was also in town attending the US sponsored Nuclear Security summit. Ban offered to assist Nigeria, while soliciting more support from the Nigerian government to support international peacekeeping.

Besides, Ban Ki-moon even offered that he would be visiting the Acting President in Abuja in June. That would be the first time he would be traveling to Nigeria since he assumed the office in 2007. Apart from that, he requested the Acting president to attend his own UN Summit on the MDGs in September, when the General Assembly summit will be holding at the headquarters of the world body in New York.

Similarly, apart from meeting the US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, on the first day of his arrival, last week, Dr. Jonathan was immediately invited the next day to also have lunch with the US Vice President Joseph Biden, among few other selected leaders attending the Nuclear summit, at the official residence of the US Vice President.

On the same day the Acting President also met with top World Bank officials, including President Robert Zoellick, who offered a fresh hand of partnership to the Nigerian government on several sectoral issues, especially on power.

At the end of the week in Washington DC/Maryland region, Nigeria's Acting President's name had become a pop quiz question on a popular Baltimore FM radio station 88.1-the question was "whose country's president's name starts with the word Goodluck?"

http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/news/article01/180410?pdate=180410&ptitle=How%20Jonathan%20Made%20Nigeria%20Proud%20In%20Washington%20DC

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34 answers

US government sources say Nigeria is the first country in Africa under the Obama administration to enjoy such an agreement. It was signed just a week ahead of the Jonathan visit. Incidentally, soon after Nigeria signed the Bi-National Commission with the US, the South Africans also quickly got a similar deal with the US government, which was announced last Thursday after the departure of the Acting President. The US-South African agreement was named a Strategic Dialogue, raising press enquiries at the State Department that this was happening so soon after the US-Nigerian Bi-National Commission.

In the 90s,  Al Gore and Thabo Mbeki  co-chaired a bi-national commission, unless it was not considered a bi-national commission by Obama administration or did this newspaper do a fact check?

http://www.iss.co.za/pubs/asr/6No3/Joseph.html

http://books.google.com/books?id=0yUCb9yZ01oC&pg=PA42&lpg=PA42&dq=The+U.S.-South+Africa+Binational+Commission+Al+Gore+and+Mbeki&source=bl&ots=Ow7qmRqsYZ&sig=sT3jnpwx64FVw8qvoSbJ68ZANLc&hl=en&ei=JWfMS6-NCY6CNp_09I0F&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CBIQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=The%20U.S.-South%20Africa%20Binational%20Commission%20Al%20Gore%20and%20Mbeki&f=false

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Nobody is stealing u blind, when u have a joint venture, say 60%NNPC and 40% EXXON

Each party has to provide funds for exploration, because NNPC will get 60% of whatever profits

and EXXON will get 40%

The alternative is for NNPC to sell its 60% and collect only petroleum taxes and royalty

or buy EXXONS 40% and source for 100% exploration money itself to manage the joint venture soley. . .

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I stopped hoping for the leaders to do the right thing. Rather, I hope the Nigerian people learn to stop 'Bottom' kissing, and start making demands of these leaders instead

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All we can do is to watch and wait. If Jonathan does more than paying lip service, great. I'm hoping that he will feel very compelled to deliver what he said after meeting all those world leaders and promising things such as credible elections.

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Nigeria’s insurmountable problem is tribalism. Topics and responses on Nigeria socio-politico-economic progress had to pass through the prism of either ethnicity or sectionalism.

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Yes, like you I agree with Kobojunkie. As she said hers was a lonely voice about the lack of a basis for glorifying Yar'adua early on. Your list of Yar'adua's failures does not even begin to state the level of incompetence he showed as an administrator. We really need to find a way to take our potential leaders to task on their promises B/4 they get elected. OBJ promised heaven and earth before his inauguration - now he claims he wasn't elected to build roads and rail, but to bring the nation together!

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Wether Jonathan will be adjudged good or bad, time will tell. However, I agree with Kobojunkie on Yaradua! The only thing Yaradua did was to mouth off a silly 7-point agenda slogan he provided no details how it becomes reality! Now, any can declare 5-, 7, 10-, 70- and 100-point agendas like he did! But did he do ANYTHING for Nigeria to change it or make it better? NO!

He lied from the very beginning. . .about his health and that he is so clueless that everything he said was NEVER his idea! He was put there against his will by the combination of IBB, Turai and the coterie of thieves around them! The Uwais report, a job which he commissioned earlier, he couldn't accept its implementation. Meanwhile, while being remote-controlled by Ibori and co, Andoakaa was working hard to destroy any progress Nigeria had made with the fight against corruption, etc! Amnesty? Well, any knows that a lot of the arms given-up was provided by the government for showmanship! I could go on but what did he DO? NOTHING!

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Do you understand that all of the above has little action behind it all? You have the man talking about/vowing/declaring  etc, but what about the actual DOING of any of the above, or achieving any of the many things he claimed? I ask this because I wonder if you are willing to use the phrase “good president” to qualify someone like IBB if he were to become president in 2011( God forbid bad thing) and give you something similar to the above.

We quickly praised him for his deal with the Niger Delta terrorists but I believe now we know that deal was at not for the good of Nigerians. Imagine a president promising terrorists free pocket money each month, free education, not even in Nigerian schools but abroad, etc? What should we expect to be revealed next? Free health care to any hospital abroad?

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That is why I call him a pretender. It was a mixture of his health condition, a vengefuel outlook on life, religious zealotry/tribalism, and a basic not-knowing-what-it-takes-to-fulfill-his-promises problem.

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^

Yar'Adua's only achievement was reading the 7 point agenda over and over and over and as slowly as if he was gonna die!

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You and me are probably thinking of different definitions for a "good president". What I meant is that if all Yar'adua did was to build on what OBJ did, correct the faults and add some new ones he had the chance of being counted as the best president Nigeria ever had - not that that amounts to much in view of what we really need, but given Nigeria's history that would be quite a bit. These are the things he did at the start that appeared good:

1. He laid out a 7-point agenda;

2. He acknowledged the flaw in the 2007 elections and vowed to correct it;

3. He setup an electoral reform commission;

4. He vowed to pursue the rule of law with vigour;

5. He, in theory at least, moved to curb corruption in government by directing all government transactions be conducted electronically;

6. He immediately talked about the making the NNPC commercial and asking oil companies to get their funds from the global capital market, while we direct our revenues to national development - he was aiming to stop the so-called cash calls that MNOC were using to steal Nigeria blind. This was the prelude to the PIB.

7. He talked about insecurity in the Niger Delta and sent the military to take over the militant camps, especially after military personnel were killed. He also began to talk about an amnesty program;

8. It is difficult to remember, perhaps because his performance was not that great, but Yar'adua visited many of Nigeria's traditional allies (US, Britain, etc) and received the Russian and Chinese Presidents (not too sure about who came from China).

9. He publicly declared his assets - how we enjoyed that one, which eventually forced Jonathan to declare his assests as well.

These are what I meant by saying he started as a good president, but as they say if you start the race and don't finish it you are worse than someone who stayed away. His errors have since outweighed all these possibilities, but I will not go into them here.

I understand the rose-tinted glasses you mentioned, but what I wrote wasn't attempting to wipe his slate clean. And, you are right to have warned in advance about him.

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So far so good.

Sorry am not celebrating Goodluck yet. Need more concrete results.

But he is not disappointing yet.

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I disagree with the above. Yar adua did not start out as a good president. We made all that fantasy up for ourselves. I remember quite clearly how many on here ATTACKED me for asking questions of why that man ought to be president and what the difference was between his policies and that of the last administration. I remember presenting his record and having to endure the name-callings, and being told to shut up on other occasions. Nigerians love to view through rose-tinted glasses our leaders and that is precisely what we are doing yet again. So, no, Yar adua never started as a good president, we created that illusion all on our own.

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I feel your pain. At the same time, I continue to believe that none of this people, except may be for IBB, wakes up any day of the week and think they are going to make life difficult for Nigerians. A lot of these people actually want our approval, the only problem is they keep working against it by fixating on their pockets.

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Wow after reading this

This is actually good,for our reputation internationally but jonathan if you want us to have a good image revamo INEC,EFCC and let us have light!

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We all know they are all cosmetic changes,the real agendas are still base on who gets what at the expense of the suffering masses.

As long as he is still a member of that pdp gang with the top criminal echelons like obasanjo,now notorious ibb still in-charge,he can only deceive those that wants to deceived.

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Tell me you didn't feel change was coming when Yar'adua took over. It was the same PDP that put him there at the time, and it is the same Goodluck that was his VP. It turned out that Yar'adua was a pretender. To be honest with you Yar'adua talked about and started out to be a good president, but his obsession with dishing OBJ & carrying Ibori on his shoulders destroyed whatever was good about him.

If this was propaganda, Nigeria needed it & is the one doing it, unless you think it is a bad thing to present an image of Nigeria on the world stage that contradicts the Yar'aduan fiasco.

I would not dismiss the significance of the Ag. President's visit, but at the same time one tree does not a forest make. Nigeria needs a complete makeover, this visit contributes to it in a small way.

The Ag. President should also be aware that the retrogressive forces are not asleep and should keep the usual hubris that has bedeviled Nigerian leaders at bay.

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He refused to resign  and accepted the seat of C-in C

against the wishes of Turai, Ibori and the cabal

Consolidated his authority by inaugurating the PAC

Dethroned Aaokanda

Sacked the NSA; Muktar

Dissolved the FEC

Filtered the Cabinet by dropping the entire cabal (Abba ruma, Aliero, Lukman, Anakoanda et al)

Insisted on keeping Madam Akunyili

Quashed charges against El rufai and ribadu

Intends to bring back Ribadu

promises electoral reform

Decides to take Power problems head-on

Intends to announce major changes this week

You don't really need to do much to please Nigerians and he know it

this is why he's getting all the goodwill

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The oil.the most vital part of our natural endowment is what they are destroying.In proper hands and management,it is a glorious blessing.Even at this point,it is not too late to reverse the curses

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sup lil mofo, actually, I just woke up partying in the Big City. I didn't get in until 7:30 a.m.

yo musty Bottom would have loved this hip hop joint.

phat azzes everywhere

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People think nigerian problem is minor,the whole system is on a doom course,it will require real fundamental sanitizing for a change to come.

An average politician in nigeria knows nothing but to steal,even the so-called educated,vibrant and relatively young speaker,bankole is no exception.They all need to be in jail or executed for people to realize that stealing the public fund is detrimental to the future of the country.

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Sorry, but the oil does not benefit you or me. If all of it is given away for free, the life of the average Nigerian wouldn't change (in fact it would likely get much better).

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if he was hausa everybody would be saying other wise Nigerians are sooo tribalistic. lol

lol Nigerians are funny people 2 years ago he was a crook like yardua and Obj now hes the Messiah.

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hahah lmfao @ caucasian american

no doubt goodluck is a crminal but . . . hes ijaw so i guess his crminality is lesser lol

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Are you implying nigerian oil reserve is dry now?

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What is there to destroy in Nigeria? There is nothing.

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What wonders?Making him a cohort in a criminal syndicate that is brent on destroying nigeria.

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It is just mostly religious propaganda on the side of america,there is nothing different about nigerian goverment,it still the same pdp criminal agendas of looting and covering up criminals.

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It is often said that you don't change a winning team, why then would you rather he changed his name that has worked wonders in his life?

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I pray that all these good things translate to excellent government.

In the meantime, Uncle Joe, carry go!

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I read this earlier today in the Guardian and I felt so proud being a Nigerian. The same Uncle Joe we all say is too dull has turned out as one who is in high demand outside of Nigeria. Its such a great feeling.

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Yeye name,goodluck,he should change to IFEOMA or what ever the ijaws call good tidings.

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