Jonathan in US, Meets Obama Today

2010-04-11
THISDAY Newspaper- Tokunbo Adedoja and Olawale Olaleye

A cting President Goodluck Jonathan will be received today in the White House by the US President, Mr. Barack Obama, at 5.45p.m after arriving Washington DC, at 9a.m (4a.m Nigerian time) this morning for the Nuclear Security Summit.
Jonathan and his entourage, travelled late last night to the US on Nigeria Air Force 001, the Presidential jet.

This is clearly an indication of the change in status of the acting president as the official aircraft of the Nigerian vice president is the Gulf Stream V.
Taking a cue from the US system; only the American Presidents travel on the Air Force One. The US Vice President has his official jet which is Air Force Two.


According to the President's itinerary obtained by THISDAY yesterday, Jonathan would be received at the Air Force Base, Washington DC by members of the Nigerian mission in US, led by Professor Adebowale Adefuye. US officials are also expected to be on ground to receive the Acting President.
Jonathan will be accompanied on the visit by Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Deziani Allison-Madueke, and her counterpart in the Ministry of Finance, Mr Olusegun Aganga.


Also expected to join the Acting President at the meeting with Obama are Adefuye, former Ambassador Hassan Adamu and Nigeria Ambassador to the United Nations, Professor Joy Ogwu.
Tomorrow, the Acting President would hold a breakfast meeting with the Council on Foreign Relations and then have lunch with US Vice President, Joe Biden. Jonathan will also meet with the World Bank President, Robert Zoellick, at 3p.m from where he would depart for the opening ceremony of the Nuclear Security Summit at 4:30p.m.


The Acting President would spend the whole of Tuesday at the Nuclear Security Summit. On Wednesday, according to the itinerary,Jonathan would have a breakfast meeting at the Center for Global Development and hold lunch with Corporate Council on Africa.
A meeting had also been scheduled to hold between him and the President of ExxonMobil at 3p.m the same day. The Acting President is expected to depart US 6p.m on Wednesday for Nigeria after meeting with the Nigerian community at 4p.m.


The US trip also marked Jonathan’s first official trip outside the country since he became Acting President.
The presidential jet, a Boeing 737-700, was converted to BBJ- a business jet. It has the capacity to travel 10 hours without stopping to refuel. The fuel capacity can therefore not enable the plane to make a direct flight to the US. What this means is that the jet would stop-over either in Darka, Senegal or London, United Kingdom where it is expected to refuel before it continues with the trip.


On Jonathan’s entourage are Minister of Foreign Affairs, Odein Ajuimogobia (SAN); minister of state for Foreign Affairs, Aliyu Idi Hong, Minister of finance, Olusegun Aganga, Wakili Adamawa, Amb. Hassan ÆAdamu, Dr Emmanuel Egbogah, Special Adviser to the President on Petroleum; Dr Martins Uhomoibhi, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs and oil magnate, Mr Femi Otedola. Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke who on official duties is in Los Angeles, United States will also join the acting president’s team in Washington.


Five state governors are also in the entourage, amongst whom is Governor Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State, who had earlier gone to the US.
His advance team, THISDAY learnt, had left for the US since Friday. Members of the advance team included senior special assistant on strategy, Mr. Oronto Douglas and his colleague in charge of media, Mr. Ima Niboro.


 

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