President Goodluck Jonathan’s 25-person delegation to Addis Ababa for the 18th African Union Summit is soundly dwarfed by that of his wife, Patience, who is travelling with a 32-person crowd, according to an initial list of officials traveling with the president.
The trip is the first major test of the two-week old pledge by the President to minimize the scandalously-large travel parties for which he has been known.
Mr. Jonathan is in Ethiopia for the 18th African Union (AU) Summit, the theme of which is “Boosting Intra-African Trade,” while Mrs. Jonathan will attend a nominal African Ladies Forum on the margins. The president dropped from the initial list the Governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke, because of today’s Supreme Court ruling which kicked five governors of the People’s Democratic Party from office. In his place, Jonathan traveled with Dr. Segun Mimiko, the Governor of Ondo State.
Mr. Jonathan, who faces continuing discontent from Nigerians over a steep hike in the price of petrol, had announced during the mass protests he would cut official salaries as well as abuse by his government. He pledged to reduce drastically the number of officials traveling with him on foreign trips, but his first outing following the OccupyNigeria revolt does not seem to have remembered those promises.