Amid Abuja explosion, Jonathan travels for AU summit in Equatorial Guinea

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan

Mr. Jonathan will return to Abuja on Friday.

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President Goodluck Jonathan jetted out of Abuja Wednesday even as the capital came under a bomb attack that killed at least 21 people.

The blast occurred at the busy Emab plaza at about 4p.m. local time, setting off a huge fire. At least 17 persons were injured in the attack, the police said.

Witnesses say the explosion went off as an apparently bomb-laden car drove through the gate of the shopping mall. The explosion destroyed 17 cars, police spokesperson, Frank Mba said.

But just as news of the deadly attack filtered in, Reuben Abati, presidential aide to President Jonathan announced that his boss left Abuja for Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea.

Mr. Jonathan left to participate in the 23rd Ordinary Session of the African Union’s Summit of Heads of State and Government, Mr. Abati said in a statement.

The president was accompanied by his wife, Patience, and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Water Resources, Health and Industry Trade and Investment.

Mr. Abati said the discussion at the summit will focus on the evolution and implementation of fresh strategies and measures to improve agricultural production and food security in the continent, among others.

He said this is keeping with the AU’s declaration of 2014 as the Year of Agriculture and Food Security.

The president and other African leaders, participating in the summit, will also deliberate on the appointment of judges of the African Court of Justice, the statement said.

“They will deliberate on the appointment of judges of the African Human Rights Court of Justice and the appointment of the President and Vice-President of the Pan-African University,” it said.

“The African heads of state and government will also consider and adopt the decisions and recommendations of the 25th Regular Session of the African Union’s Executive Board.

“They will also consider the Declarations of the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Conference of the union.’’

The presidential delegation is expected back in Abuja at the end of the summit on Friday.

(NAN)


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