NEW YORK, NY, July 30, 2014 – The Diaspora Nigerians in America has categorically denied, as a major fabrication, an article in one of Nigeria’s online news outlets that President Jonathan denied the group’s request to appear at the solidarity rally that was scheduled for Tuesday, August 5, in front of the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, DC. DNA blasted the article as a blatant falsehood.
The article read, “Meanwhile, it has also been learned that President Jonathan has himself had his request for a one-on-one meeting with President Obama turned down.
In a further reflection of the extent of the fear of the unknown during the trip, Mr. Jonathan has also turned down a request to be at a “solidarity rally” by a group of praise-singers who call themselves “The Diaspora Nigerians in America group,” scheduled for August 5 in front of the Nigerian Embassy.
A press statement issued by the group today confirmed Mr. Jonathan’s decision to bail out of the self-serving love-fest.”
While not addressing the full article, Chairman of the Diaspora Nigerians in America, Dr. Chika Onyeani said that it was also not true that “President Jonathan has himself had his request for a one-on-one meeting with President Obama turned down.” Onyeani, who is accredited to all of the events during the U.S.-African Leaders Summit, said that on the contrary, the White House and State Department, from the onset, had made it plain to all the 50 African Presidents invited to the Summit that President Obama would not have a one-on-one meeting with the Presidents. This has been a bone of contention for the African Presidents who were accorded that privilege by the Chinese President when African Presidents were invited to Beijing.
Onyeani said, “It baffles me that a reputable journalist would not pick up the phone and call me to verify why we had to cancel the solidarity rally, though we had stated it in the press release the writer quoted. Before we made the preparations for the rally and secured the permit from the DC Metropolitan Police, I didn’t have the schedule of events for the August 4-6 Summit from the State Department. When I received the detailed schedule from the State Department, I agreed with the President’s people that it was impossible for him to absent himself from the other Presidents, hence we merely said scheduling conflict. The President did not turn our request down; if the schedule was not conflicting, he would have joined us,” Onyeani emphasized.
“Though I am a Publisher and Editor, I am also a journalist and I am more than willing to work with and provide other journalists with facts. Our numbers are available for any journalist who wants to reach us,” said Onyeani.