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Jonathan arrives from London, thanks Nigerians for their goodwill

25 November 2013, 08:36

Abuja - President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday arrived in Abuja after attending a two-day meeting of Nigeria’s Honorary International Investors’ Council (HIIC) in London.

The president, who spoke to State House correspondents at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on arrival, thanked Nigerians for their concern, solidarity and best wishes when he took ill.

The president was treated for sudden abdominal pains while in London.

“First, let me thank and appreciate Nigerians for the show of love and concern.”

“Even though I was in London, I read how people congratulated me, remembering my birthday that I don't normally celebrate anyway.”

“I have to thank Nigerians, especially on the issue of my health.”

“I really had some health challenges; I have to thank God and Nigerians for their concern and love.”

When asked if the illness was serious, Jonathan said: “The most important thing is that I am back.”

“You will expect that when you are holding a political office as the president of a country, anything that affects you attracts a lot of attention.”

“So, that the president is sick alone, even if you do not know nature of his ailment, will definitely cause some apprehension,” he added.

Jonathan, who appeared hale and hearty, said that he would resume work immediately.

Specifically, the president said that he would be meeting with the aggrieved faction of the PDP, known as the G7 Governors, with a view to resolving the crisis in the party.

The meeting had earlier been scheduled for Sunday.

“I do not think I will be able to hold any meeting today again; you know six hours’ flight is quite a distance but we will certainly meet.”

In response to a question on the specific time when the meeting would hold, Jonathan said: “I do not know, I am just coming in; I believe within the week, we will be able to meet.”

“Politics is about discussion, we belong to the same political party; even people from different political parties engage in political discussion.”

“Political discussion is a continuous process, even during elections, people discuss. So, we will continue to discuss.”

The president, however, debunked a media report that some ministers refused to participate in the HIIC talks.

“All of them performed very well; I think there are some kinds of misconception.”

“The Honorary International Investor Forum meets two times in a year, one in Nigeria and one outside Nigeria.”

“The ministers are not meant to sit throughout the period; ministers are meant to go and make presentations, even in Nigeria.”

“The only person that normally sits throughout is the Minister of Trade and Investment.”

“Some ministers do not normally sit for two days, in a day you may not see a minister.”

“If a minister is meant to make a presentation on the second day, you would not expect the minister to be at the forum for the two days.”

“I read some of the perceptions in the media that the minister of communication technology and the minister of petroleum were not there on Thursday.”

“They were not meant to make presentation on Thursday, they appeared on Friday and made their presentation,” he said.

-    NAN


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