Nigeria: ‘No secret, Mutharika visited Jonathan in Abuja’

Nigeria government  prides itself to run a transparent administration and top officials have refused to be party to the secrecy Malawi government is attaching to the mysterious trip of President Bingu wa Mutharika.

Nyasa Times has received confirmation form Nigeria government that indeed President Mutharika visited Nigeria’s leader Goodluck Jonathan last Tuesday in Abuja.

Nigeria presidential spokesman Dr Reuben Abati confirmed that the website which  posted the picture of Mutharika with Jonathan in Nigeria, was an official Nigeria State House website and that the picture was “genuine” and “latest”.

Malawi government spokeswoman Patricia Kaliati still argues that  Mutharika-Jonathan photograph was manipulated by Nigeria State House, implying that they are crooks.

Mutharika: Sneaked out and then landed back via Cargo section

But Mutharika’s arrival in Nigeria was beamed on that country’s state television,  Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) .

Nigeria’s national daily newspaper based in Abuja, Daily Trust, also reported about the visit of Mutharika with fresh pictures of the Malawi leader in Abuja in the company of President Jonathan.

The publication which Nyasa Times has obtained is Volume 28 number 98.

Nyasa Times also confirmed that Mutharika lodged at Hilton Hotel in the presidential suit in Abuja on Tuesday before he checked out and flew back on Wednesday.

Despite details of the talks with Nigerian leader  being scanty, Nyasa Times understands that Mutharika had begged for  United States Dollars from Nigerian government as a ‘loan’, following the forex shortage affecting the country inorder to service debts with fuel suppliers.

Nyasa Times also found out that Deputy Chief Secretary to Government Necton Mhura, had gone to Abuja as an advanced party to sort “logistics” of the presidential visit.

Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor, Dr Perks Ligoya, was also reported to be in Nigeria.

Mutharika had kept his  Nigeria visit a secret until Nyasa Times exclusively reported about the President sneaking out the same Tuesday.

The President was still determined to keep the  trip under wraps as he returned home on Wednesday afternoon not through the normal way. He went through the cargo section at Kamuzu International Airport.

Director of State Residences, Edward Sawerengera told state broadcaster MBC that Mutharika  did not go to Nigeria but was in the commercial city of Blantyre.

State House spokesman Hetherwick  Ntaba also said he was not aware of the President being out of the country and that he only knew Mutharika was in the country.

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