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

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor 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.
Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisisi
X
March 06, 2015 12:28 AM
There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Winter Weather Strikes Eastern US...Again!

A new wintry blast has hit more than 20 states in the U.S. Midwest and Mid-Atlantic region, adding more snow to the piles from previous storms. Tired of shoveling snow, breaking the ice and dealing with accidents, flight delays and property damage, most Americans hope this is the last bout of cold for the season. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Myanmar's Traditional Fashion Choices Endure

The sartorial choices of Myanmar’s men and women quickly catch the eye of any visitor to the tropical Southeast Asian country. But at a time when Myanmar’s political and economic opening is bringing affordable western fashions to the masses, will the country’s unique fashion trends endure? VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Yangon explores that question.

All About America

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