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Jonathan’s US visit

ACTING President Goodluck Jonathan’s recent visit to the United States of America, USA on the invitation of President Barak Obama is his recognition of Jonathan’s leadership of Nigeria at this critical time.

The four-day visit came at an opportune  time when a web of intrigues is still  being woven around ailing President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua by a group that is bent on holding the nation hostage.

The issue of President Yar’Adua’s health has generated a lot of controversies much to the discomfiture of international community.

The most contentious is the curious fact that Acting President has not set his eyes on the president since he was flown into the country in the odd hours of February 24. In fact Jonathan told Cable Network News, CNN in an interview that the last time he spoke to Yar’Adua was November 26 last year.

That was three days after the  President was flown out of the country to a Saudi Arabia hospital.

With the visit to the US, the Acting President had the opportunity to tell the world the true situation of Nigeria’s political affairs.

From President Obama, Acting President Jonathan received a charge to conduct credible poll and fight corruption frontally.

That America has shown so much interest in Nigeria’s political affairs carries a lot of diplomatic mileage  for Nigeria. But there are other associated advantages.

Since assumption of office as the 44th president of US in 2009, the Obama administration has not shown warm disposition to Nigeria  until recently.

Perhaps one of the reasons is the controversial 2007 general elections that brought to power, the Peoples Democratic Party leadership of President Yar’Adua.

However, the world is looking forward to speedy passage of the electoral reform bill that would guarantee a free and fair election in 2011.

Also America has been deeply concerned about the endemic nature of corruption in Nigeria. So the visit has afforded the Acting President the chance to explain the administration’s war against graft.

Equally fundamental is the inclusion of Nigeria on American terror watch list following the botched attempt of AbdulMutallab to blow up a Detriot bound passenger plane last Christmas  in US.

That single act of terror by the young Nigerian received international condemnation and further tarnished the nation’s international image. The attendant diplomatic row between the two countries further affected their relationship.

An improved understanding between Nigeria and US has made the latter to delist Nigeria from its terror watch list. All these and other salient issues formed the kernel of discussions between Obama and Jonathan.

With the Acting President’s visit, it is expected that the days ahead will witness a better relationship between Nigeria and US, especially as the nation approaches a critical general election period.

Acting President Jonathan’s visit has brought the country  tremendous good will and  much needed endorsement of his acting presidency. Herein lies the import of the visit.


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