Nigerian President abruptly cuts short Botswana state visitBy MTOKOZISI DUBE in Gaborone | Wednesday, September 12 2012 at 15:38
Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan cut his intended two-day state visit to Botswana to a few hours, leaving hastily Tuesday due to what unconfirmed reports said was the ailing health of his wife.
Mr Jonathan and several Nigerian Cabinet ministers had arrived in Gaborone on Tuesday morning to discuss relations between the two countries.
However, Mr Jonathan boarded his flight back to Abuja after spending only eight hours in the southern African nation.
The Nigerian leader only toured Botswana’s Jwaneng Diamond Mine, the richest diamond mine in the world.
The Botswana Government remained tight-lipped over why President Jonathan departed earlier than scheduled.
Botswana’s deputy director of foreign relations Gobe Pitso would not shed light on the early exit neither would officials from the Nigerian embassy in Botswana.
Prior to his departure, President Ian Khama had received Mr Jonathan at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport alongside hundreds of Nigerians living in Botswana.
The leaders were to discuss joint agreements between the two countries but indications are that no agreements were reached.
Mr Khama commended Nigeria’s continued backing of his country.
"Botswana and indeed the Southern African region will always remember and be grateful to Nigeria for her invaluable contribution to the liberation of our region,” Mr Khama said.
Mr Jonathan had Monday met with Malawian President Joyce Banda in Lilongwe before his Gaborone arrival.
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