Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari will on Sunday travel to Lome, the capital of Togo to 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).
The two high-level meetings are aimed at forging concerted strategies in tackling the menace of terrorism, trans-border crimes and other forms of violent extremism.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu said President Buhari will on arrival, have an interactive session at the Nigerian embassy with the Nigerian community based in Togo.
He stated that the meetings will take place on Monday.
It would be 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.
According to him, “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 53rd Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.
He further stated that the 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.
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 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