Embattled Minister for Aviation, Stella Oduah, who is currently on President Jonathan’s entourage to Israel is reportedly staying at the same hotel – King David hotel in Jerusalem – with the President and still enjoys a close relationship with him according to Saharareporters.
According to the online publication, Ms Oduah remains within the President’s inner circle on the trip but she travelled ahead of the president to sign the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and Israel.
Saharareporters have also discovered that the decision for her to travel ahead of the President might have been unnecessary as the BASA agreement is not due for signing until October 29, following which Mr. Jonathan will depart for Nigeria.
The minister has also been listed to follow the President to a meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas in the Occupied Palestinian territory, also on October 29.
Since arriving in Israel, Mr. Jonathan and several officials, including Mrs. Oduah, have occupied the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, and she has had direct access and regular meetings with the President.
An attempt by a student journalist to interview her was rebuffed as Mrs. Oduah claimed the student was a SaharaReporters journalist seeking to put her into more trouble.
It has also been gathered that President Jonathan was accompanied by over 800 officials on his trip to Israel. This delegation is said to be considerably larger than the one that accompanied him to the 68th United Nations General Assembly last month.
The delegation is made up of at least 11 governors, 8 deputy governors and 14 Ministers.
The governors include Gabriel Suswam of Benue state, Godswill Akapbio of Akwa Ibom, Liyel Imoke of Cross Rivers, Martin Elechi of Ebonyi, Theodore Orji of Abia State, Peter Obi of Anambra, Jonah Jang of Plateau and Emmanuel uduaghan of Delta State.
In addition to Mrs. Oduah, the Ministers are Jumoke Akinjide, (minister of state for FCT), Godsday Orube (Niger Delta), Olubolade (Police Affairs), Nyeson Wike (Education), Labaran Maku (Minister of information), the minister of Trade and investment and Finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala are also expected to join later.
It goes without saying that each governor and minister would have their own delegation.
In an announcement by Presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, last Tuesday the only government officials listed for the trip were: Senator Paulker; the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Akinwunmi Adesina; the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe; the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen; the Minister of State (Foreign Affairs), Prof Viola Onwuliri; and the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki as the officials accompanying President Jonathan.