Following the heavy criticism that followed his decision to travel to Brazil despite the current crisis in Kaduna and Yobe state, president Goodluck Jonathan had on Wednesday reacted to people’s different opinions on the matter, stating that he can work from anywhere in the world, considering that it was equally important for him to have embarked on the trip which he said was of great national importance.
In a statement carefully issued from Brazil, the Special Adviser to the President on Communications, Reuben Abati said the President had before his trip met with the Chief Security Advicer, and remained confident that he was equal to the task with other security agencies.
According to Dr. Abati, the president couldn’t suspend the trip because of its national importance and for the fact that commitment had earlier been made in relation to the trip before the outbreak of violence in Kaduna and Yobe State.
The Special Adviser noted that “The conference, Rio+20, is very important and nobody can doubt that.
The issues that will be discussed at this conference are also issues that are relevant to Nigeria’s interest. It is also an opportunity for Nigeria to promote its interest in terms of its place in global community.
“The crisis in Kaduna and Yobe occurred almost on the eve of the President’s departure for this event and commitments have been made.
“In any event, it is not as if government has abandoned the situation at home. Security agencies are there, they are on top of the situation.
“Before the President left, he met with security chiefs. The business of leadership cannot just stop because there is a crisis there.
“I think what we can do is to appeal to the opposition not to always play politics with everything; that is the major challenge we face, people always want to play politics with everything.
“If the President had refused to come to Rio, the same persons will turn around and say that there is an important conference attended by world leaders and the Nigerian President stayed away from it.
“It is as if there is nothing you can do to please our people. It is not that Nigeria is going to lose anything by Mr. President’s presence here rather; the country is going to gain a lot from his presence here.
“He is here serving the interest of Nigerians, it is not as if he has abandoned his responsibilities” he pointed out.