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Buhari, two govs, 10 top officials begin five-day trip to Ethiopia Friday

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President Muhammadu Buhari will jet out of Abuja to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Friday (tomorrow).

A State House statement by his media aide, Mr Garba Shehu, said on Thursday that Buhari would be attending the 33rd Ordinary Session of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

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The theme of the summit is, “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development.”

The Presidency gave details of Buhari’s expected activities in Ethiopia.

It stated, “The President will attend the 29th Forum of Heads of State and Government of Participating States of the African Peer Review Mechanism and the 27th Session of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee. The meetings will precede the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly.

“In Nigeria’s capacity as a member of the AU Peace and Security Council, President Buhari will participate in the High-Level meeting of the Peace and Security Council on the situation in the Sahel and Libya, and High-Level Ad-Hoc Committee on South Sudan.

“On the margins of the Summit, the President will deliver a keynote address at a high-level side event on ‘Stop the War on Children: Dividend of Silencing the Guns.’ The event is co-sponsored by the governments of Nigeria, Uganda, and Norway, and Save the Children International.

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“President Buhari and the Nigerian delegation will also participate in other high-level side events in furtherance of Nigeria’s national, regional and international goals, priorities and aspirations namely, peace and security, countering terrorism and violent extremism, economic development, asset recovery and fight against corruption.”

It said Buhari and other leaders would also hold bilateral meetings on the margins of the summit.

After the AU Summit, the Presidency said Buhari would begin a State Visit to Ethiopia on February 11, “at the invitation of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Dr Abiy Ahmed.”

It added that the “visit is aimed at strengthening bilateral ties between Nigeria and Ethiopia and reinforcing cooperation in key areas of mutual interest between the two countries.”

The President will also meet with the Nigerian Community in Ethiopia before making his return trip on February 12.

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Governors Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and Ben Ayade of Cross River State will be on Buhari’s entourage.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Adamu Mohammed-Bulkachuwa; and the Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Baba, are also travelling with the President.

Others on the list, according to the State House, are Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd.); Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; and the National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer, NEPAD Nigeria, Gloria Akobundu.”

The delegation also has the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd); and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai-Abubakar.

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