By Hugo Odiogor
The tempo of politics in Nigeria will shift to New York this week when President Goodluck Jonathan attends the 65th General Assembly of the United Nations.
This will be the first time that a Nigerian leader will be attending the august gathering of world leaders as the late President
Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua stayed away from the three previous meetings while
he was in office.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who is expected to be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Odein Ajumugobia, the Minister of
Information, Professor Dora Akunyili, top aides and four state
governors is expected to leave the country
Thursday in what will be a high diplomatic mission for the President who needs the
platform to brief world leaders and Nigerians living abroad of the
rationale behind his decision to seek election to the presidency of
Nigeria in 2011.
Planners of the president’s political programme told Vanguard that this is a unique opportunity that the president cannot afford to
miss as Nigeria needs international support for its internal democratic
"We need the input of the international community to stabilise democracy in Nigeria, we also need the support of the
international community to fully see the amnesty programme to a logical
conclusion and of course Nigeria is a major player in the global
security network, which makes the attendance of Mr. President very
imperative”, said the source.
The visit to the United Nations provides Jonathan the rare opportunity to meet with several groups and individuals who form an
influential lobby group known as Nigerians in the Diaspora who are
still disenfranchised but remains a key factor in influencing global
opinion on political and economic development in Nigeria.
President Jonathan is uniquely positioned to reach world leaders to explain his accomplishments and challenges to them and
members of the international business community who might be interested
to come to explore business opportunities in Nigeria. Sources said
Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, Professor Ade Adefuye, has
been busy putting togther a tight programme for Jonathan.
Although the United States government has shown favourable disposition
to the leadership of Jonathan, diplomatic sources told Vanguard that
“there are some areas of disquiet in the way the country is prosecuting
the war against corruption and the jumbo cost of conducting elections
in Nigeria which has not shown any significant improvement in the
living conditions of Nigerians”.
The shifting of the dates for accomplishing the electricity power
programme, the high rate of insecurity on domestic front, the
instability in the oil producing region and ever increasing poverty
index are some of the issues that will confront Dr. Jonathan while in
Some of the Nigerians living abroad are angry that the newly signed Electoral reforms Act still denied Nigerians living
abroad the right to vote even when information technology would have
made it possible for them to participate in the electoral process in