By Omololu Ogunmade
President Muhammadu Buhari would today (Thursday) depart Abuja for Bissau to attend events commemorating Guinea Bissau’s National Day.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said in a statement issued yesterday said the president would join the presidents of Senegal, Cote d’ Ivoire, Rwanda, Mauritania, Togo and Liberia to mark the 47th independence anniversary of Guinea Bissau.
He said while in Bissau, Buhari would also commission a road named in his honour by the host government, adding that the president and other invited leaders would also attend an official lunch to be hosted by President Umaro Sissoco Embaló of Guinea Bissau.
Adesina, who said Nigeria and Guinea Bissau established diplomatic relations in 1974, added that following a military coup in that country, Nigeria in 2012 deployed troops under the auspices of ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB) to maintain peace.
He recalled that Buhari had in response to a request for assistance by the Government of Guinea Bissau, during its last legislative elections, donated $500,000, 17 vehicles and 350 electoral kits to support the country’s electoral process.
He added that in May this year, the president hosted Embalo in Abuja, during which he congratulated him on his confirmation as president and assured him of Nigeria’s support to the new government in Guinea Bissau.
The statement said Nigerian troops earlier deployed to the country were only withdrawn on September 10, 2020 after the return of stability to the West African country.
According to the statement, the president would be accompanied by top government officials, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; the Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd.); the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd.) and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.
It added that Buhari would return to Abuja today at the end of the ceremonies.