Why Jonathan didn’t speak at Mandela’s memorial service – Abati explains

by Adeola Balogun


Following murmurs in the country that President Goodluck Jonathan  was snubbed at late Nelson Mandela’s memorial service because he wasn’t allowed to speak, the Presidency has issued a statement clarifying the situation.

Nigerians were surprised by the fact that President Jonathan did not get a chance to give a personal eulogy about the late South African icon unlike many world leaders who did so yesterday.

Presidential spokesperson, Reuben Abati, has stated that the action was not an insult on the president as believed by most people. Abati said that Jonathan did not speak because there was no need for a personal speech as the Chairman of the African Union (AU) Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, had already spoken on behalf of all African leaders.

Daily Independent reports:

It was good enough that Jonathan attended the event in solidarity with the people of South Africa, said Abati, who described the attendant fuss back home as an “indication of a rising, minority tendency to read the negative into every official item”.

Abati added that “it is a classic case of much ado about nothing” and “a complete non-issue”.

According to him: “The late Madiba’s burial is not a United Nations debating session. It is what it is a burial: a solemn, national ceremony.

“Leaders from all over the world attended the Memorial Service to pay their last respects and to identify with South Africans in their hour of grief. ”It was certainly not meant to be an occasion for political grandstanding or the waving of flags.

“Out of about 100 world leaders who attended the event today, only six spoke at the ceremony. It was made clear at the occasion that the Chairman of the AU Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma will speak on behalf of African leaders. And she did.

“I do not agree that Nigeria was insulted in any way. It was good that President Jonathan attended the Memorial service and that Nigeria is in solidarity with the South Africans. If every leader who attended the service had been asked to say a word, the event would not have ended.

“There were many other leaders at the event, whose countries have strong historical and political ties with South Africa, but who did not speak. I have not heard their compatriots crying like babies.

“This is obviously a further indication of a rising, minority tendency to read the negative into every official


Comments (0)

  1. Abati is a joke!!! did i hear u say 'u don't hear their compatriots crying like babies' are Nigerians crying like babies??? u don't have respect for your fellow citizen and people like you have no business in government, until you tell nigerians not to express their feelings…..fagot

  2. making a hill out of a molehill it is. lets be objective, if every leader have to speak at Mandela,s funeral, hmnn it will continue forever and ever and ever. let sleeping dogs lie please.

  3. its unfortunate that Abati will put up this kind of presentation, lets look at this from this angle- Reuben Abati sponsored a cousin through University Education from yr1 to final, Reuben was involved in the cousin's thesis, financially and the cousin on the acknowledgement page did not mention Reuben, rather gave accolade to an auty who mentioned that this cousin cannot achieve anything good while preparing to do jamb . Bros Abati as idey doubt president certificate, i don dey doubt your own too.

  4. Who even needs a dull speaker like Jokenathan?

  5. some nigerians could be stupid.much ado about nothing

  6. why are we Nigerians,zeroing on a piece of issue that is gibberish?

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