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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More