Wednesday, December 11, 2013

President Jonathan was not snobbed at Nelson Mandela memorial service - Presidency

President Goodluck Jonathan

Yesterday, at Nelson Mandela memorial service President Goodluck Jonathan was not given a chance to speak as other world leaders did thus making rounds on social media that he was snobbed.

The Presidency last night rose in defence of President Jonathan, according to them only six out of the 100 world leaders at the event, were slated to speak and Jonathan was not one of those chosen to render any speech.

"The late Madiba's burial is not a United Nations Debating session. It is what it is a burial: a solemn, national ceremony," Presidential Spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati said.

"Leaders from all over the world attended the Memorial Service to pay their last respects and to identify with South Africans in their hour of grief. It was certainly not meant to be an occasion for political grandstanding or the waving of flags.

"Out of about 100 world leaders who attended the event today, only six spoke at the ceremony. It was made clear at the occasion that the Chairman of the AU Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will speak on behalf of African leaders. And she did.

"I do not agree that Nigeria was insulted in any way. It was good that President Jonathan attended the Memorial service and that Nigeria is in solidarity with the South Africans.

"If every leader who attended the service had been asked to say a word, the event would not have ended. There were many other leaders at the event, whose countries have strong historical and political ties with South Africa, but who did not speak.

"I have not heard their compatriots crying like babies. This is obviously a further indication of a rising, minority tendency to read the negative into every official item," Abati said.

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