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President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Friday to attend the 33rd Ordinary Session of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

Mr Shehu stated that Mr Buhari would join leaders from the 55-member countries of the AU to participate in the Summit with the theme, “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development.”

“The President will attend the 29th Forum of Heads of State and Government of Participating States of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

“He will also attend the 27th Session of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (AUDA-NEPAD). 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,” he said.

According to him, the president on the margins of the Summit will deliver a keynote address at a High Level Side Event on “Stop the War on Children: Dividend of Silencing the Guns.”

READ ALSO: Buhari speaks on military withdrawal from troubled communities

The event is co-sponsored by the Governments of Nigeria, Uganda and Norway, and Save the Children International.

“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.

“These include peace and security, countering terrorism and violent extremism, economic development, asset recovery and fight against corruption,” he added.

He further said the president would also hold bilateral meetings with several world leaders on the margins of the summit.

“At the end of the AU Summit on Februat 10, the Nigerian president will commence a State Visit to Ethiopia on Feb. 11, at the invitation of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Dr Abiy Ahmed.

“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.

“Before returning to Abuja, President Buhari will also interact with the Nigerian Community in Ethiopia,” he said.

Mr Shehu disclosed that the president would be accompanied by Governors of Imo, Hope Uzodinma and Cross River Ben Ayade as well as Sen. Adamu Bulkachuwa, Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and Yusuf Baba, Chairman House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Others are Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo and Gloria Akobundu, National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer, NEPAD Nigeria.

Also on the president’s entourage are the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno and Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar, are also on the president’s entourage.

Mr Buhari is expected back in Abuja on Wednesday.

(NAN)

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