Buhari Heads for South Africa Wednesday

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Muhammadu Buhari

By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari will Wednesday leave Abuja on a three-day state visit to South Africa, acting on the invitation of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, said Buhari was embarking on the trip to discuss welfare of Nigerians with a view to finding common grounds for building harmonious relations with their hosts.

According to him, the visit is coming against the background of recent xenophobic attacks which resulted in the evacuation of hundreds of Nigerians as well as exchange of visits by special envoys of both Buhari and Ramaphosa.

Shehu explained that while in South Africa, the Nigerian leader would hold a town hall meeting with Nigerians living in the country

He said the meeting would provide the president with the platform to sharing in their experiences and reassuring them of Nigerian government’s commitment to working for the protection of their lives and property and as well promoting peaceful co-existence.

Shehu added that Buhari and his host would preside over the South Africa/Nigeria Bi-National Commission, during which a progress report would be presented.

He disclosed that at the end of the meeting, both leaders would sign a joint communiqué.

The statement said the president and his delegation including Nigerian business representatives in the country would participate at a South Africa-Nigeria Business Forum with their host counterparts.

It also said Buhari would be accompanied to South Africa by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State and Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State.

Also traveling with the president are: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd); Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman; Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite; Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi; and Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum.

Shehu also listed presidential aides on the trip to include the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd); Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; and Chairman/CEO, Nigeria Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

He said Buhari would be back in Abuja on Friday.