World Cup: Jonathan’s delegation dwarfs Obama’s, others in Africa

Nigeria’s team to the World Cup is arguably the biggest in Africa, and one of the largest in the world.

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Nigeria, again, will spend a fortune on officials traveling abroad with President Goodluck Jonathan’s typically oversize presidential delegation to the World Cup in Brazil announced this week.

If the mega-size team had any chance escaping public attention, a similar presidential delegation announced by United States President Barack Obama, sealed it.

Mr. Jonathan’s team comprises governors, ministers, federal lawmakers and diplomats- totalling more than a dozen; while Mr. Obama’s has an advisor, a diplomat and two former athletes only.

The Nigerian team, led by the Senate President, David Mark, includes the Governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke; Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema; the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed; the Minister of Education, Nyesome Wike.

Others are the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Edem Duke; the Minister of Youth Development, Boni Haruna; the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Viola Onwuleri; the Chairman, Senate Committee on Sports, Adamu Gumba; the Chairman House Committee on Sports, Godfrey Ali Gaiya.

An advance team was led by the Minister of Sports, Tamuno Danagogo.

The delegation arrived at the Guarulhos International Airport, Sao Paulo, Brazil, at about 5 p.m. local time Wednesday.

The team’s official mission, a statement by the sports ministry said, was to convey “a presidential message” to the Super Eagles in Campinas Thursday morning ahead of Nigeria’s first group match against Iran, on June 16, in Curtiba.

In contrast, Mr. Obama’s four-person team, announced June 6, has Liliana Ayalde, United States Ambassador to Brazil; Michelle Akers, retired member of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team; and Gabrielle Reece, former Beach Volleyball World Champion.

The team was led by Daniel Pfeiffer, Senior Advisor to the President.

It is not clear yet how much the Nigerian government has budgeted for the World Cup. Details of that spending are curiously missing from the 2014 budget of the Nigerian Football Federation.

Nigeria spent N900 million for the South Africa 2010 World Cup, and N2.2 billion for the 2012 London Olympics.

The president’s official team is exclusive of lawmakers and several other government officials who also travelled to Brazil, still on government cost.

For the London Olympics for instance, five Senators and five House of Representatives members made the official sports ministry team.

The officials received far more money than the athletes at the London Olympics, according to details seen by PREMIUM TIMES.

History of jumbo teams

Since taking office in 2010, Mr. Jonathan has managed to build a notorious reputation for travelling for international events with huge entourages that often put him up for stinging criticisms.

In 2010, the president reportedly travelled with 120 people to New York.

In February 2013, officials who travelled with the president for an African Union meeting in Ethiopia, averaged 200, making the Nigerian delegation the largest to the meeting.

In September 2013, at least 600 Nigerians travelled to New York alongside the president for the United Nations meeting.

When concerns flared about the outsize team- which had clearly irrelevant members such party officials and ex-militants- the presidency scrambled a denial, saying those who travelled officially with the president were less than 30.

The response, in a statement issued by spokesperson, Reuben Abati, however admitted more people were in New York, but said they were there “for their own purposes”.

This time, though, Nigeria appears not alone.

West African neighbours, Ghana, also raised a controversial team to the World Cup, sparking public anger there.

One transparency organization in Ghana, Alliance for Accountable Governance, was quoted as describing Ghana’s 13-person delegation as Africa’s biggest, calling it “profligate and unnecessary”.

But the bulk of Ghana’s 13-person team are members of the country’s football federation and the sports ministry.

That means if such officials- who have also travelled from Nigeria- are included in the Nigerian list, Ghana will by far be outflanked by Nigeria.

The Ghanaian delegation includes the Sports Minister, Elvis Ankrah, Football Federation President, Kwesi Nyantekyi; his Vice, Fred Crentsil, Communications Director, Ibrahim Daara; Black Stars Coach, Kwesi Appiah, Federation Secretary, Emmanuel Gyimah, and Committee Member, George Afriyie.

The rest are members of parliament and party members.


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  • Wähala

    If only chop-i-chop brings home the World Cup… Nigeria would’ve been World Champs yrs ago!

    • Peter

      An inaccurate reporting by Premium Times. Give us the exact figures of the number of those Presidential delegation to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. If you are not certain, then stop making innuendos.

      • Nigeria

        Well Peter, from past experiences , having been in the Nigeria house during the United Nations week and seeng the hundreds of delegates from Nigeria who had no business being in NewYork, then i wont put it past this corrupt government who believe they can do anything and get away with it, to include their cohorts to make up the presidential delegation.

        • Habib Olukayode Rahman

          Nigerians can be pretty evasive when it comes to speaking the truth as it is a well known fact that this regime relishes nothing but profligacy and being a minority shoeless man has it’s downside as it provide an alibi to deflect criticism and this has often been parroted by the regime’s acolytes.

          • redeem

            Yr fulani tribes men have contributed nothing-since our flag freedom from the brits–just talk talk– -hardly ever pay tax on the cows they steal from Ghana-Jonathan gave u the african cup of nation after 18yrs–the junior wolrd cup-also–besides-the presidency for yr mumu information, does not select delegates to such event-s—he hardly ever sees d list-yr dasuki swore to end boko haram –so sultan forced the president to hire him–after firing late azazi-has the boko haram war ended–now we have another fulani there Gusau–yet no dice-soon it will be another tribalism–this was what buhari said when he sacked shagari–too much travels–but idiagbon left 9ja with his Under aged son among hundreds of others-to mecca-when the IBB coup took place-

          • Chiemele

            Who did you say fired late Gen Azazi?

          • redeem

            The fulanis swore to end boko haram war if and only if Azazi was fired–Jonathan listened to them –after they started sponsoring one article after the other in sharia reporters he fell for their tricks and appointed dasuki-the same fraudulent method often applied by APC—has the boko haram war ended-since the depature of late Azazi

          • Chiemele

            You seem to speak for the President. Did he tell you who the BH are in his Govt and why he would not prosecute but instead let them go on killing people who most likely voted for him and not Buhari?

        • ifebuche

          Official delegates. That they are Nigerian and came from Nigeria doesn’t mean sponsored by government. Get facts right and refuse to be deceived by the calumny of the press. The other trip to the African summit they said presidency came with more than six private jets whereas it is known that Dangote and Adenuga and Alakija all who had their jets were there. What do these guys in the press gain by misrepresentation? It’s quite sad.

          • Chiemele

            We could defend anything and everything, hoping the pay will last a lifetime. Because like it or no, the present regime will not be in power forever but having defended their precedence you leave a legacy for your generations unborn. Keep it up.

          • ifebuche

            I think you are simply afraid of the truth. The system has been corrupt but we will gain nothing by accusing people wrongly in cases where we can easily find the right answers. If do not know where the rain began beating you you will not know where it stopped. That’s a wise saying. It is people like you that will go ahead and charge people to court for corruption and because you are not even sure of what you are saying or have it upside down, you will end up making the alleged culprit win in court and go free, dampening the spirit of fighting corruption. That’s what has been the bane of EFCC. we must fight corruption but we MUST BE SMART ABOUT IT. So that the rogues won’t always get away and we look like fools.
            But I guess you will still see no point in what I am seeing. Or maybe you just may.

          • Chiemele

            Justice delayed is justice denied. You heard about that? We just keep piling up corruption allegations that will never get investigated, never closed out, never prosecuted. Who cares? Corruption always existed, it’s the spoils for anyone close to Govt and it is not stealing.
            I feel for Nigeria, I feel for our kids we send out for education. Most will never come back. My generation may end up worse than our fathers as we shamelessly justify wrong for the sake of scrap from the masters table.

          • ifebuche

            You pile up raw hate that’s all. Its so toxic it can hurt only you. If you pile up facts against people and it is taken to court no matter how long it ensures it will cone through. If you think justice delayed is denied then you are welcome to try injustice or zero justice. Don’t quote adages for the sake of it. Find the cases where they were used and see if what is at hand qualifies.

          • Chiemele

            Your hero has withdrawn the corruption charge against Abacha. I believe you have a defense for that too. I rest my case, it’s pointless.

          • ifebuche

            You know pointless people by jumping from pillar to post. Thrash an issue and finish it. Don’t be run around the whole place like a confused person. We are talking an issue here n as u see you have no more points or never had any you conveniently jump into another just to perpetuate your hatred for somebody. That’s your wahala no be mine. Let it not enter your head that’s all.

        • redeem

          that is not yr bloody business–those who went to new York are not ijaws from otuoke–they were not economic migrants from Cameroon-9jas

    • Patriotic Dom

      Are u back?

      • joe

        Yup, as ur nightmare!!!,

    • Patriotic Dom

      You ran away ever since I gave u the dossier u deserve… I hope u have heard the Fulani peoples emir Sanusi has apologised to Nigeria peoples president. I did not see your usual haughty comment on that

      • SpecialAdvisor

        Did u read the letter of apology of eavesdrop on the conversation?

        • hummm

          Nevermind he cant read , but can drink.Isnt that what they do at his bosses house?

        • redeem

          only a mad man will accept such an apology from a thief like Sanusi-Nobody, no matter how highly placed in the society, would be spared and the country is ready to ensure that Ogwuche is brought back to this country to face the consequences of his alleged action”.` Saturday Vanguard had, yesterday, reported that Sudan’s refusal to extradite Ogwuche followed the alleged intervention of the monarch. He was said to have moved in to stop . –

          • Wähala

            Emir Sanusi did not and will never apologise to a drunk, so says El-Rufai !

          • redeem

            HOW CAN A HARDENED THIEF LIKE SANUSI EVER APOLOGISE –HE WILL DO NO SUCH THING–

          • SpecialAdvisor

            Extradition is an arrangement between nation states not a state and a traditional institution hence the argument about the monarch is pretty weak.

          • redeem

            WHERE DO THE FULANIS HAIL FROM–IS IT NOT SUDAN-ARE WE BEING TOLD HERE THAT SANUSI WITH HIS STUPENDIOUS WEALTH CANNOT INFLUENCE THE EXTRADITION SCHEME OR WHAT

          • SpecialAdvisor

            Sanusi is wealthy yes, but really you are giving him too much power beyond what he has. There are much larger considerations in bilateral relations between states that Sudan will not ignore because of one Sanusi. Once again, I think this story about Sanusi influencing Sudan is one that was planted by the usual suspects

          • Chiemele

            What is Presido’s option 2. He is unable to convict anyone worth his salt, could not impeach Amaechi, could not stop APC, cannot halt BH, cannot pay the Ogoni their judgement compensation, pass through the PIB, reduce corruption, increase power supply, stop fuel importation. Really what can he do beyond attend jamborees.

          • redeem

            both the judgement ON THE compensation wERE stopped by Sanusi the governor of CBN–WHO TOOK THE MATTER TO COURT–HE APPEALED AGAINS THE JUDGEMENT–ANIMALS BUT WAS ABLE TO GIVE BUHARI 65B CONTRACT

        • Chiemele

          You want to rig an apology?

      • hummm

        U need to get off drinking that koolaid at ASO rock, it is starting to affect ur thinking. U sound so irrational.

        • Tonnero

          There is no koolaid in Aso Rock. There is only ogogoro.

          • Wähala

            He probably doesn’t know what “koolaid” is, just heard it from someone.

      • Wähala

        Watch this video on SaharaReporters: “Sanusi aspired to be Emir for 37yrs; He’d never beg (Dumbo) for his right” – El Rufai

        • Patriotic Dom

          I was expecting some of your gutter languages in this reply… Sea u re growing

    • redeem

      even if they are 1 million delegates it does not concern u–its my oïl revenue–what has been yr bloody contribution since 1960-to national development–beyond the rubbish u often vomit from yr mouth—Jonathan gave u the african cup of nation–No thank u from 9jas–after waiting in d wilderness for over 18yrs–monkey—junior world cup also–none was able to achieve such a great feat–bad belle journalism from the camp of the debt infested APC–states in the South west- animals

      • Wähala

        There’s more oil in my satate than your slimy Aborigine enclaves. Nigeria didn’t win the Nations Cup until your bald eagle cousin Samson Siasia, was flushed out of our coaching bench and Okechukwu Keshi brought in. Did you notice the make-up of the team that won the Cup… No Aborigines! Just Ibos!! Drunkard!!!

        • redeem

          Which state do u come from in Nigeria-u mean the oïl that cannot even fill a petrol tanker-ANYWAY that is not the issue at stake HERE– the eagles are not called siasia national team–would he not have won the cup for nigeria-its the same bad belle-rubbish–was keshi also the coach–of the junior world cup team mumu-see the trouble with u Ibos–is keshi an ibo man–that is why they are called the biafran national team

      • Chiemele

        It will be interesting to know how much barrels of oil is produced in your village viz a viz the rest of the ND. It would be interesting to know if you or any of your kinsmen are shareholders or if and when Presido would get serious enough to push the PIB out of the Parliament. Your oil? Your a jester!!!

        • redeem

          mumu are the fulanis ready to have the PIB passed–who are the owners of the lucrative oïl wells in the Niger delta-if nigeria were to depend on yr oïl she would have been starving by now to death

          • Chiemele

            From a ND point of view PIB is a necessity. I wonder why ND should vote for a President who can’t deliver. NAFCON, Bonny NLNG, Eleme Petrochem, 13% derivation; Amnesty, Ministry of ND, all were projects from a Northern President. From ND President after 6yrs, WHAT? Reasons why I don’t believe ethnicity counts towards delivering benefit unless in the reverse.

  • King Carlos

    what is the minister of education doing in brazil, when our universities are on strike?

  • King Carlos

    what is the minister of education doing in brazil, when our universities are on strike?

    • Shehu Monguno

      which universities are on strike?

      • MonaObinna…

        Our Poly have been on strike for months now…

        • Onike24

          One year.

        • Shehu Monguno

          polys are different from universities. I wanted to be sure

          • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

            truth don’t matter to them. they are cruel liars

          • Tonnero

            So does it make it OK that it is Polys and Colleges of Education instead of universities? I know irrationally large delegations from Nigeria are not new. But must we continue to perpetuate frivolous use of lean national resources? If the Minister of Education is an avid fan of football, as he has a right to be, he should take some time off work, hand over to his Minister of State and pay his way to Brazil.

          • iynaroc03

            It does not matter, but Nigerians are so stupid and self-defeating that they will argue the irrelevant things. University or Polytech or whatever educational institution, they are all educational institutions, and the basic question is, why should the Minister of Education be in Brazil? For what purpose?

      • Night Crawler

        He meant to say Polytechnics and COEASU

        • Psalm 35

          How did you know that is what he is meant to say, are you his brain ?

        • King Carlos

          Thank you jare,

        • ifebuche

          Speaking for him now are you? Nigerians.

  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    What Premium rags will not tell its readers is that Jonathan IS NOT GOING TO BRAZIL.Another smear campaign.

    • Night Crawler

      Nope his not going, but what is minister of education doing in brazil when some schools are on strike

  • Patriotic Dom

    They forgot to compare Jonathan’s delegation with that of chinese head who recently came to Nigeria to attend world economic forum

  • Spoken word

    Is anyone surprised by this.we are always top when it comes to wasteful things.we have a country where the president dismisses corruption as just stealing.

    • 12to34

      Ssssshhhhh. We are not wasteful! Nigeria is not a poor country my friend!

  • Shola

    I laughed when I first saw the “Nigerian team”;but was disappointed on seeing who and who made the list to travel to the world cup. Look,these people are having fun. That is it.

  • Stephen Baiye

    We all know government officials are always jostling this kind of jamboree. It’s not new. It’s been the case with every government right from the military era till now. It should not be condoned, but it should not be ascribed to Jonathan’s government alone either. It’s a Nigerian phenomenon!

  • Truthometer

    The higher the number of delegates, the greater the amount of money laundered by Dumbo and his wrecking crew. The ruling class is our greatest problem in Nigeria. It is time for ordinary Nigerian to fight back, if we still wish to have a country in future.

    • redeem

      Ibo manu is Jonathan the one who prepared the list or the protocol department–

      • Truthometer

        And what do you know and the rest of Nigerians don’t. If he gives a verbal instruction to that effect, who can ever deny him? Think bro. Don’t allow what you are currently benefiting to becloud your sense of reasoning. The coming generations are in serious danger due to the level of stealing that is going on in Dumbo’s administration. Anyway, Dumbo has chosen to glorify stealing, by calling it, “mere corruption”. Ask yourself, which one is better, stealing or corruption? You have to be in Dumbo’s administration or PDP to be able to chose one of the two.

        • redeem

          HOW OLD IS NIGERIA–DID WE GAIN OUR FREEDOM FROM THE BRITISH YESTERDAY OR IN 1960–TELL THAT TAILS BY MOON LIGHT RIBBISH TO APC–NIGERIA IS OVER 54 YRS OLD AND U ARE HERE BLAMING ALL OUR TROUBLES ON JONATHAN ABI-ARE U OK UPSTAIRS

  • Gideon Orkar

    Premium Trash feeding its acolytes the brown stuff again

    • Adeyi

      The real GIDEON ORKAR and not some conniving namesake may probably have been in the forefront of the true vanguard for revival of our nation .

      • Gideon Orkar

        Which nation? Same one he wanted to remove the core North from? Go and read your history books again and then come back with an intelligent post.

        • Tonnero

          Is it that you do not believe the Premium Times story (names are listed here so they can deny if untrue) or you think the Nigerian delegation is not too large or you think it is OK to send large delegations especially for poor countries in Africa?

          You do not need to boil everything down to politics. While we have our party, ethnic and religious affiliations, the nation is more important than any of them. If you do not think so, you have good company in Boko Haram.

          The job of the press in a vibrant democracy is to be the watchdog of the people against abuse of power, profligacy and waste BY THOSE ENTRUSTED WITH MANAGING OUR COMMONWEALTH. I think Premium Times is doing a good job of that. If you think they should expose others more (like APC governors for example seeing that you seem a PDP man) and they are not doing that, feel free to start your own newspaper or write your own commentaries to tackle that aspect. Everyone in power at the local government, state and federal levels must be scrutinized irrespective of what party they belong to. WE should only insist that they be factual in their publications.

          • Gideon Orkar

            So the headline is not misleading abi?

  • uduakomiri

    Shameless people. Can’t these people afford visa and flight ticket to Brazil in spite of all the money dem dey steal daily?
    Nigeria is a mad country even by African standards. No wonder Uganda’s Museveni,, and Zimbabwe’s Mugabe make jokes about Jonathan’s incompetence

  • Screw-em

    Fellows, no sweat, the lowly EAGLES will hit the showers after the first round. No chance in hell to proceed beyond the first round. Defense too porous, Midfield ..lackluster….Strikers….sparkless and uncoordinated………but estacode na easy mula for 9ja!!!!!

  • Psalm 35

    This is the type of delegation that brings us badluck

  • Rege

    This guy is a thief. Guys you will only be sending him free credit. Please do not send credit to him. There is nothing like IDMF No. The number he is quoting is in fact 07068390743. Premium times should stop this scammer and report the number to MTN to block it. A lot of people would have been swindled by this guy, who has no conscience. ALL, PLEASE BE WARNED. MTN GUYS WOULD HAVE BLOCKED THE LEAKAGE IF IT IS TRUE. SO PLEASE DO NO LOOSE YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY TO FRAUDSTARS.

  • kojaco

    Absolute falsehood,the minister of education is presently in port Harcourt.This is Junk journalism.

  • tjay

    Mr Minister, u are not living in kano and so you are not in the right place to comment abt the incident that happened in Kano, soooo plsss, u kind of people shud stop playing politics with nigerians. We were there and we saw it vividly what happend that day, infact I’m a Corper and my was was in danger that coz of the withdrawal of most securities in the metropolitan by ur government! It was vigilante groups and some civilian volunteers that became the guards around the city centers after thugs and unpatriotic youths began distruction of government properties ranging from street lights, traffic lights installed by the state government. So I believe Kwankwaso has the right to say what ever he said!
    Plssssss you people shud stop causing chaos in the life of innocent nigerians where ever they are! we the youths in nigeria, we are tired and tired and tired of this unprofitable democracy!!