Buhari departs for Saudi Arabia for OIC Summit – Independent Observers

Buhari departs for Saudi Arabia for OIC Summit

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Temitope Owotoki

President Muhammadu Buhari has departed Abuja on Thursday to attend the summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

The 14th session of the Summit Conference of the OIC, scheduled to hold on Friday, May 31, will be hosted by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and attended by Heads of State and Governments of Member States, a statement from the presidency said, on Wednesday.

The OIC Secretariat stated 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.

President Buhari is expected to address the forum and underscore the need for member countries to unite and work together to combat common challenges such as terrorism and violent extremism.

The president will also push forward themes that have been at the forefront of his domestic and international priorities, including reviving the Lake Chad Basin, investing in Nigeria to create jobs and financing for development.

On the margins of the summit, the Nigerian leader will hold bilateral meetings with world leaders to promote increased cooperation and collaboration on issues of mutual concern.

President Buhari, who is expected to return to the country on June 2, will be accompanied by Governors Mohammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State, Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State and Abubakar Bello of Niger State.

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

Ahead of the Summit, was a preparatory meeting in Jeddah meant to adopt the draft agenda and work programme for the Summit.

On the agenda were the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict; combating terrorism and violent extremism; the humanitarian situation in the Muslim world; promotion of scientific cooperation, among others.

President Buhari becomes the third Nigerian leader to attend the OIC conference in person, after the late Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.

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