Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Jonathan leaves for Israel today
Christian pilgrimage to Israel.
This was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the
President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, on Tuesday in
Abati said contrary to media reports that the President would be
traveling with 19 state governors and about 30,000 Nigerians, Jonathan
would be accompanied by four ministers.
While describing the reports on the bogus number of entourage as a
misrepresentation of facts, the presidential spokesman gave the names
of those in the President's entourage to include Senator Emmanuel
Paulker; Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina; Minister of
Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe; Minister of Works, Mr. Mike
Onolememen; Minister of State (Foreign Affairs), Prof. Viola Onwuliri;
and the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki.
The statement read in part, "While the President may meet and interact
with some other Nigerians who are already on pilgrimage to Israel,
reports in the media that he is leading 19 state governors and about
30,000 Nigerians to Israel are a misrepresentation of facts.
"Irrespective of President Jonathan's visit, thousands of Nigerians
visit Israel annually during the pilgrimage season which goes on for
months and they will undoubtedly do so again between now and early
"It is entirely fortuitous for some of these Nigerian pilgrims
therefore that their visit to Israel this year will coincide with
"President Jonathan is expected back in Abuja early next week."
Abati said the President would meet with President Shimon Peres, Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of the Israeli Parliament, the
He said talks between Jonathan's delegation and Israeli government
officials would focus on the enhancement of bilateral relations
between Nigeria and Israel.
The bilateral talks, according to Abati, will focus on areas including
trade, economic development, infrastructure, transportation,
agriculture, communications, culture, education and tourism.