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Buhari jets out to Rwanda for Commonwealth Summit

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PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari and four Ministers are set to leave Abuja on Wednesday for Kigali, Rwanda, to participate in the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

A statement released on Wednesday by presidential spokesman Femi Adesina said Buhari will join other leaders at CHOGM 2022 to discuss issues centred on the affairs of over two billion people living in the 54 independent countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific that make up the Commonwealth.

Parts of the statement read, “The leaders are expected to consider a range of topical issues including post COVID-19 economic recovery, debt sustainability, climate change, poverty reduction, youth entrepreneurship and employment, trade and food security.

“Prior to this, the Nigerian delegation drawn from the public, private and youth organisations participated in four forums covering youth, women, business and civil society; and will engage in ministerial meetings and several side events.”

President Buhari will attend the official opening ceremony on June 24, followed by high-level meetings of Heads of State and Government on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 June.

“On the margins of the meeting, the Nigerian leader is scheduled to deliver remarks at the High-Level Session of Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases Summit and participate in an Intergenerational Dialogue for Youth.

“President Buhari is also expected to hold bilateral talks with some leaders from the Commonwealth countries.

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“Ahead of the biennial meeting, which was due to take place in June 2020 but was postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Buhari, in an article published in The Telegraph, London, stressed that the Commonwealth can become a real global power with improved collaborations on trade and security, lending weight to each other in international bodies,” the statement added.

The ministers that will accompany the President include Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire; Minister of Environment Mohammed Abdullahi and Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Ali Pantami.

Others in Buhari’s entourage are the National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno, Director-General National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar and the Chairman/CEO Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NidCOM) Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

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Raji Olatunji is a Journalist at The International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR). You can send him an email at rolatunji@icirnigeria.org. He tweets @olazrajj

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