Former Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan, who has been in the United States since last week, canceled a scheduled keynote speech at the Africa Peace Awards Dinner organized bythe Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution at the California State University, Sacramento in order to avoid embarrassment, SaharaReporters has learned.
Mr. Jonathan’s former Special Assistant on New Media, Reno Omokri, spoke on his behalf, explaining that the former President had taken ill.
SaharaReporters has however learned that Mr. Jonathan, who has been travelling across the US to associate himself with international NGOs, feigned his illness to avoid embarrassment by protests planned against him.
It will be recalled that Mr. Jonathan, while in Newark, New Jersey, met with a human trafficking NGO and made remarks at the Mayor’s office.
One local California newspaper, The Sacramento Bee, confirmed the details of the speech, noting, “Mr. Jonathan’s appearance had stirred controversy because of Nigeria’s anti-gay law, which punishes not only gay marriage but public support of it.”
Mr. Jonathan has been under pressure since the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested his cousin, Robert Azibaola, in connection with allegations over an oilpipeline job estimated at over $40 million.
The commission has been following leads between those corruption allegations and his cousin, Mr. Jonathan.