President Muhammadu Buhari departs Abuja today to attend a one-day ECOWAS Heads of State and Government Extraordinary Summit on Counter-Terrorism, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. His vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo will head to Zimbabwe to participate in the state funeral for the late former President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.
Given the growing threat of terrorism in the sub-region, the West African leaders had called for the Summit to review different initiatives taken so far, and redefine the priority intervention areas for the containment of the worrisome attacks in the area.
The decision to convene the Summit was reached at the 55th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in Abuja on June 29, 2019.
President Buhari recognises the imperative of collective actions in the fight against terrorism and will continue to partner with ECOWAS member states and international organisations to address the menace.
In Ouagadougou, ECOWAS leaders are expected to adopt a priority action plan on counter-terrorism and put in place a mechanism to monitor the implementation of the measures adopted towards ensuring lasting peace in the sub-region.
President Buhari will be accompanied by Governors Abubakar Bello, Dapo Abiodun and Okezie Ikpeazu of Niger, Ogun and Abia state respectively; as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and the Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (retd).
Also on the President’s entourage are the National Security Adviser, Maj-General Babagana Monguno (retd) and Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina in a statement yesterday explained that the President is expected back in Abuja at the end of the Summit.
Meanwhile, Senior Special Assistant to Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, in a statement, yesterday explained that Prof. Osinbajo is expected to join other African leaders, Heads of State at the funeral taking place at Zimbabwe’s National Stadium in Harare.
Heads of State expected to attend the funeral include President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya. Mugabe, who was Zimbabwean Prime Minister and later President for 37 years altogether, up until 2017, died last week at the age of 95 in a Singaporean Hospital.
The Vice President, accompanied on the trip by senior government officials, left for Harare yesterday. He is expected back in Nigeria later today.