By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to depart Abuja on Wednesday for a three-day State Visit to the Republic of South Africa. 

President Buhari, South Africa
President Muhammadu Buhari boarding Eagle One.
President Buhari’s visit to South Africa is to honour the invitation by President Cyril Ramaphosa, to discuss the welfare of Nigerians, and find common grounds for building harmonious relations with their hosts.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in Abuja on Tuesday stated that the visit came against the background of recent xenophobic attacks, the evacuation of hundreds of Nigerians and the exchange of visits by Special Envoys of Presidents Buhari and Ramaphosa.

 

The statement noted that while in South Africa, the President Buhari will hold a town hall meeting with Nigerians living in the country, with a view to sharing in their experiences and reassuring them of Nigerian government’s commitment to working for the protection of their lives and property and promoting peaceful co-existence.    

 

President Buhari and his host will preside over the South Africa/Nigeria Bi-National Commission, during which a progress report will be presented. At the end of the meeting, both leaders will sign a joint communiqué. President Buhari and his delegation including Nigerian business representatives will also participate at a South Africa-Nigeria Business Forum with their host counterparts.

 

President Buhari will be accompanied by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State and Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State. Others are Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd); Minister of Power, Eng. Saleh Mamman; Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite; Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi; and Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum.

 

Also on the trip to South Africa are National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd); Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; and Chairman/CEO Nigeria Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

President Buhari is expected to return to Abuja on Friday.

Recall that the Nigerian government has insisted that South Africa must pay compensation to Nigerians that were displaced as a result of the attacks.

 

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