Goodluck misses AU summit, Boko Haram high on agenda

2015-01-29 16:32

Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan will not be attending this week’s African Union summit, his office has confirmed.

This is even as discussions around terrorist group Boko Haram feature high on the AU’s agenda. Nigeria will be represented by foreign minister Aminu Wali.

Jonathan is currently touring Nigeria to campaign ahead of that country’s elections, which are due to take place on February 14.

Analysts say this is one of the country’s most hotly-contested elections. The big race is between Jonathan, from the People’s Democratic Party, and the newly-formed All-Progressive People’s Congress, with former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari as its presidential candidate.

The heated campaign has even seen a comparison of handsomeness of the two candidates by a celebrity.

The elections is one of 19 elections taking place across the African continent this year. It is not clear whether it is one of the 12 elections an AU commissioner said were of concern to the AU, but the Institute for Security Studies has ranked the elections as “high risk” due to the fact that it is highly contested, but also because of the increased Boko Haram attacks and the divide between the Muslim north and Christian south.

South African defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula yesterday said South Africa has not deployed any soldiers to help Nigeria.

She threatened to arrest on return South African ex-soldiers who went there to help train Nigerian soldiers to fight back against Boko Haram, branding them “mercenaries”.

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