PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari will leave Abuja on Sunday for Lome, the Republic of Togo, to participate in two high-level meetings of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
According to a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday by Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on arrival, the President will have an interactive session at the Nigerian embassy with the Nigerian community-based in Togo.
On Monday, President Buhari will attend the Joint ECOWAS/ECCAS Summit which will deliberate on common security threats to countries in West Africa and members of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) with a view to forging concerted strategies in tackling the menace of terrorism, trans-border crimes and other forms of violent extremism.
The statement recalled that President Buhari had expressed support for the proposed ECOWAS/ECCAS Summit when he received the current Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo on June 29, 2018, in Katsina.
It quoted the President as saying that “terrorism now transcends international boundaries, and no country can combat the scourge alone.”
While in Lome, the Nigerian delegation will also participate in a meeting on a Single Currency for ECOWAS with the deadline of 2020. Being the largest economy not only in West Africa but also on the continent, Nigeria’s leadership role in this sub-regional aspiration cannot be over-emphasised.
On Tuesday, President Buhari will join other leaders of the sub-region for the 53rdOrdinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.
This session will be dominated by the political and security situations in Guinea Bissau, Mali and Togo; institutional reforms of the ECOWAS Commission to enhance its effectiveness; illegal migration of Africans to Europe; and the worrisome violent clashes between herders and farmers, among other issues.
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At the end of the session, a new Chair of the ECOWAS Authority is expected to take over from the incumbent and host.
President Buhari will be accompanied by Governors Ben Ayade and Abubakar Bello of Cross River and the Niger States respectively.
Others are Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali; Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Danbazau; and the Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah.
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno; the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin; the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Abubakar; and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, are also in the President’s delegation.
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