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Buhari traveling to Saudi Arabia for OIC summit



Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday depart Abuja for Makkah, Saudi Arabia, to attend a summit of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.

Shehu said the 14th summit of the OIC billed for Friday would be hosted by Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, king of Saudi Arabia.

He said 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.

“According to the OIC secretariat, 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,” Shehu said.

“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.”

Three governors, Mohammed Abubakar (Jigawa), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun) and Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger) will accompany the president, according to the statement.

Also on the president’s delegation are Mustapha Suleiman, permanent secretary of foreign affairs ministry; Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar, director-general of National Intelligence Agency (NIA); Isa Ali Pantami, director-general of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Abdullahi Mukthar, chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).

Buhari is the third Nigerian president to attend the OIC conference after the late Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.

The president went on a five-day trip to Saudi Arabia two weeks ago and returned last Tuesday.

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