RE: JONATHAN STORMS NEW YORK WITH 120-MAN DELEGATION FOR A 36-HOUR TRIP TO THE UN
I read with utmost disgust, a report by online news medium, Sahara-Reporters.Com titled "Jonathan storms New York with 120-Man Delegation for a 36-hour Trip to the UN".
Saying that President Goodluck Jonathan went to New York with a 120-man delegation for a 36-hour trip is a misguided attempt to portray his Government as extravagant.
No President in the world travels alone and the size of presidential delegations to international fora such as the United Nations varies according to the size, importance and the role of particular nations in global affairs as well as special support services, such as security, required by each President.
Furthermore, Sahara-Reporters cannot pretend to be unaware of the fact that this year’s General Assembly was preceded by a High-Level Summit on the Millennium Development Goals at which Nigeria and other developing nations had to be represented by several key ministers who have statutory responsibilities for the attainment of the MDGs.
A total of six ministers who play key roles on the MDGs are on the UN trip, along with a complement of technical and allied staff.
But the total number of persons on the trip are far less than the public is being deceived to believe.
Several of the journalists on the list are sponsored by their own media houses. The role of the presidency could only have been to assist them secure the necessary travel and accreditation documents.
There are also several well respected self sponsored business people on the trip.
In its eagerness to incite public disaffection with the President, Sahara-Reporters has mischievously lumped into his alleged "120-Man Delegation" these ministerial delegations and several members of the Nigerian private sector who are in New York entirely at their own expense.
To pad its largely pointless report, Sahara Reporters also drags up the old and rather over-flogged matter of the purchase of new executive jets.
As has been previously explained, all that the Federal Executive Council under President Jonathan did was to ratify the two-year-old provisional approval that has been previously given for replacements of aging aircrafts in the executive fleet.
It has also been explained that none of the new jets to be purchased is intended for the exclusive use of the President or Vice President.
These silly reports only mark out Saharareporters for what it is: a cowardly online journal, manned by scurrilous scribblers of an uncertain pedigree; persons who specialise in running down a country they fled when others chose to stay back and fight.
Did they bother to find out how many people President Barack Obama travelled with from Washington to New York, not to speak of Ghana?
Tumishe Doherty, Ikeja, Lagos.