By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

June 27 - Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan (pictured) has revealed that Abuja did not bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games because of security fears in the country.

Abuja had been widely expected to be the Gold Coast's main rivals but unexpectedly did not put themselves forward by the deadline of March 31.

It left the Australian candidate to face only one other city to bid, Hambantota in Sri Lanka.

The Nigerian capital had been expected to be strong favourites after missing out in 2007 to Glasgow to stage the 2014 Commonwealth Games by 47 votes to 24.

But Jonathan has now revealed that he believes they were not awarded those 2014 Games because the international community feared for their safety in Nigeria, even though he claimed situation is far worse in South Africa, which is currently hosting the FIFA World Cup.

Jonathan said: "The security situation in the country is worrisome; especially kidnapping.

"I always say that in terms of petty crimes, there are some countries that are worse than Nigeria in petty crimes.

"Now, South Africa is hosting the whole world and dignitaries, especially soccer stars, are there and nobody is complaining.

"But petty crimes, for those of you who have been to South Africa or who have read about South Africa, are worse there than Nigeria.

"But nobody is complaining about South Africa hosting the World Cup."

Jonathan claimed that the worst problems occurred in Niger Delta, the oil-rich where ethnic violence is common and kidnappings regularly take place.

He said: "I remember when we were struggling to host the [2014] Commonwealth Games, the late President Umaru Yar’Adua asked us to go and appeal to the organisers.

"What was used in blackmailing us was kidnapping.

"And I told them, look, you are talking of kidnapping, I am from the Niger Delta, where we are going to host the Games is Abuja and Niger Delta is far away from Abuja."

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 Shock as Abuja do not bid for 2018 Commonwealth Games