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Buhari leaves for Saudi Arabia

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AFTER taking oath of office for his second term in office yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to depart Abuja today for Saudi Arabia to attend the Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Mecca, where he will push forward some of his signature domestic and international priorities particularly on efforts to revive the Lake Chad Basin, investing in Nigeria to create jobs and finance for development.

During the summit, the president will hold bilateral talks with world leaders on ways of promoting increased cooperation and collaboration on issues of mutual concern.

President Buhari, who is expected to return to Nigeria on Monday, will be accompanied by Governors Mohammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State, Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State and Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State.

Also on the delegation are the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mustapha Suleiman, Director-General of National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar, Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, and the Chairman of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Abdullahi Mukthar.

A statement released by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Garba Shehu,  quoted the OIC secretariat as saying that the summit to be convened under the theme, “Makkah al-Mukarramah Summit: Hand in Hand toward the Future,” seeks to develop a unified stance on events in the Islamic world, adding that Buhari will address the forum to underscore the need for member countries to unite and work together to combat common challenges such as terrorism and violent extremism.

The 14th session of the Summit Conference of the OIC that is scheduled tomorrow will be hosted by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and attended by Heads of State and Governments of Member States.

According to Garba, other items on the agenda are the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict, combating terrorism and violent extremism, the humanitarian situation in the Muslim world and promotion of scientific cooperation.

By his attendance President Buhari becomes the third Nigerian leader to attend the OIC conference in person, after the late Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan who had attended the summit in their time as presidents.

In a related development, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the 29 state governors who were inaugurated for new tenure of office to put live up to the expectations of the masses and serve them without fear of favour.

CAN President, Samson Ayokunle, made the call yesterday in a chat with newsmen in Abuja, stating that the nation needs nothing more.

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