News / Africa

Nigeria Presidential Villa ‘Not Under Attack’

President Goodluck Jonathan opened Nigeria's National Conference with optimism this week. He appeared (above) at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January.
President Goodluck Jonathan opened Nigeria's National Conference with optimism this week. He appeared (above) at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January.
Peter Clottey
Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan was unharmed following gun shots at the headquarters of the State Security Service (SSS), near the presidential villa Sunday in the capital, Abuja, according to presidential spokesman Reuben Abati.

Abati says the presidential villa was not under attack after rejecting reports of eye witness accounts suggesting Mr. Jonathan was whisked away following the gunshots.  He says the gunshots were due to an attempted jailbreak at the SSS headquarters.

“It was an attempted jailbreak. Those arrested tried to make an attempt to escape, but the situation was immediately and effectively brought under control,” said Abati.  “We will want to reassure everyone that really there is no cause for alarm.”

Some Nigerians expressed worry following the gunshots, since the SSS headquarters building is near the presidential villa.

“The president is safe and well, and there is no cause for alarm. There are some persons who are trying to put up negative information trying to suggest that the president was whisked away. The truth of the matter is that there was no attack on the presidential villa,” said Abati.

“We take the support and concern that has been expressed with appreciation.  President Jonathan is very grateful to Nigerians that when they perceive that there is any kind suspicion about his person and office, they come out to express support and concern.”

Abati outlined the circumstances that led to the gunshots.

“When the security officials went to see the inmates, the [inmates] overpowered them and then all of this ensued.  But all of this was brought under control.  Nobody managed to escape, those who tried to escape were immediately re-arrested and the SSS officials took control of the situation,” said Abati.

He said suspected Boko Haram detainees were allegedly behind the attempted jailbreak. 

Abati denied witness account suggesting security officials surrounded the entire area following the gunshots.

“These are just preventive efforts when there is that kind of situation. Tthere is cooperation among the security agencies.  Immediately, the SSS had an issue. Other security agencies felt obliged to move in and they moved in to secure the situation and in a matter of minutes, everything was brought under control,” said Abati.

“Anyone who wants to put a spin on the issue should just realize that we have a peculiar challenge with Boko Haram, because the people who were involved were Boko Haram detainees.  What we expect is continued support from the Nigerian people and the support of the neighboring countries.”    

Abati says that the situation is under control after the detained prisoners were subdued by the security agents.
Clottey interview with Rueben Abati, President Jonathan's adviser
Clottey interview with Rueben Abati, President Jonathan's adviseri
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: SUNDAY from: E.LONDON
April 01, 2014 6:49 AM
This kind of situation do happen.This is the first time in History We have had a God fearing leader in the Person of GoodLuck Jonathan a man possess and endows with divine wisdom from above to lead the nation Nigeria to a place God our father Almighty the creator of Universe intended our Nation to be,whatever challenges confronting us today is as a result that our God has answer the prayers continuously made by Nigerian for centuries for Moses of Nigeria to come and lead them out of abuse by our corruption and evil politicians....The Devil...The haters of good and anti Nigerians are Angry and desperate,waging war....the truth is God rules amongst men and has the final say ......I salute our President Goodluck Jonathan.....You are Secured by the Blood of Jesus Christ on Calvary.

by: John Faosheke from: Lagos
April 01, 2014 3:46 AM
First, the despiration of the terrorists, Boko Haram, and their sponsors should be stopped with international cooperation, especially by USA support. Second, detained terrorists camp should kept far away from Nigerian State power house. Nigerian government international cooperation to fight the boko haram and sponsors are known to international human right community, they must help bring them out for tryer in icj.

by: MAXCEL from: JALINGO
March 31, 2014 5:07 AM
SUSPECT SHOULD'NT BE JAIL AT SSS HQ OFFICE INSTEAD THEY SHOULD BE TAKEN TO ANOTHER LOCATION AWAY FROM PRESIDENTIAL VILLA

by: Israel from: abuja
March 30, 2014 10:05 PM
Its even a shame for government to say that detainees overpower security hence the gun battle. The security agency have just shown how unprepared they are to tackle the security situation on Nigeria

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs