Presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, yesterday explained the reasons behind President Goodluck Jonathan’s return from his foreign trip to Malawi and Botswana ahead of schedule.
Abati reportedly said the president finished his mission on the second leg of his trip earlier than expected further explaining that there is no hard and fast rule to the duration of stay of the president on such working visits.
“There is no hard and fast rule about the duration of working visits. It is determined by what the two leaders decide when they meet. There is no rule that it must run its course.
“When we got to Botswana on Tuesday, President Jonathan had a tete-a-tete with the Botswana leader. They also had a bilateral meeting which bothered on mining, agriculture, trade and investment, arts and culture as well as the need to revive the Nigeria-Botswana Bilateral Commission.
“The President visited the mine in the country and had an interaction with Nigerians resident in that country.
“With that, his job was done. He left the country because he had done all he ought to do.
“There was supposed to be a business forum today (Wednesday) where ministers of the two countries will meet. Having delegated assignment to ministers, the President did not need to wait till today (Wednesday).
“He left because he had done his parts.”
Abati also revealed that as at Wednesday some ministers were still in Botswana to continue with talks. The ministers left are those of Agricultural Resources, Steel Development, Foreign Affairs (State), Culture and Tourism as well as Trade and Investment.
President Jonathan had returned from his foreign trip 24 hours earlier than expected further fueling speculation about the state of health of his wife, Patience Jonathan, who is widely believed to be receiving treatment in a German hospital for an unknown ailment.
The president presided over the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting yesterday, a meeting which also had Petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke in attendance. The minister was also rumoured to have been out of the country to attend to an undisclosed ailment, a rumour she has since denied.