Acting President Goodluck Jonathan Parleys Alhaji Umaru Abdul-Muttalab

Friday, April 9, 2010

Alhaji Umaru Abdul-Muttalab

Written by George Oji in Abuja

Ahead of his three-day official trip to the United States (US) Acting President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday met with Umaru Abdul-Muttalab, the father of the 23-year-old Nigerian, Farouk, who attempted to bomb an American aircraft on Christmas Day last year.

Jonathan is traveling to the US on the invitation of President Barak Obama to attend a maiden Nuclear Security Summit organised by the US government.

The two leaders are expected to discuss bilateral relations at the meeting. The Nigeria-US Bi-national Commission is on the agenda, in addition to global terrorism and counterterrorism measures.

US and Nigeria had signed the Bi-national commission agreement last Tuesday in Washington DC.

Also to be discussed at the meeting between Obama and Jonathan are issues of regional security and peace-keeping. Nigeria is Africa’s largest contributor to peace-keeping.

Muttalab was believed to have discussed his earlier trip to the US with Jonathan. During that trip, he met with American security officials regarding his son’s failed terror attack and for which the young man is being prosecuted.

The act had prompted the US to put Nigeria on a list of “countries of interest”, a development bitterly criticized by the Nigeria government. The list was however reviewed last weekend, with new measures superseding the terror watch list.

Mutallab came alone to the Presidential Villa and met with the Acting President behind closed doors for close to an hour. He did not speak to the press afterwards. The Acting President is expected back home by Thursday next week.

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