President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Thursday to participate in the African Union Extra-ordinary Session of Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
Buhari has been criticised in the past for his frequent travels while critical issues in the country like security and poverty are left unattended.
Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity in a statement said the three-day summit, which will hold between May 26th and 28th, will focus on Humanitarian Challenges in Africa, with related issues on migration, refugees, returnees and Internally Displaced Persons.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Thursday, May 26, 2022, to participate in African Union Extra-ordinary Session of Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, with special focus on security.
“The three-day summit, which will hold on May 26th-28th, will also focus on Humanitarian Challenges in Africa, with related issues on migration, refugees, returnees and Internally Displaced Persons.
“At the summit, the African leaders will look at Terrorism and Unconstitutional Change of Government, with attendant spiraling effects on human rights and economies.
“President Buhari will join other Heads of State and Government to deliberate on Humanitarian Challenges, Hopes and Challenges in Africa, and participate in adoption of Assembly Declaration on Humanitarian Summit and pledging conference.
“On security and governance, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union will take a united position on Terrorism and Unconstitutional Change of Government, and reach agreements on new approaches to stem the tide.
“President Buhari will also hold sideline meetings with some leaders during the meeting in Malabo.
“Mrs Aisha Buhari, who is the President of African First Ladies Peace Mission, is accompanying her husband to the African Union meeting.
“The President will also be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd); Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq; National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd); Director General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar and Chairman, Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) Abike Dabiri-Erewa.”
His latest trip comes three days before the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primary election.
The APC had scheduled Sunday, 29th – Monday, 30th of May, 2022 for the primary.
The party has however been silent on the screening date for the presidential aspirants.
According to the timetable of the party, the screening ought to have taken place on May 14 and 15.
However, the party only screened governorship, Senatorial and House of Representatives aspirants and announced May 23 as the date for screening of the presidential aspirants. However, the event failed to hold as announced.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party is expected to conclude primary activities before June 3 as prescribed by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The Malabo trip, SaharaReporters gathered, has led to more confusion among the aspirants.
According to them, the President’s departure will cause more chaos and dysfunctionality.
“Aspirants are saying Buhari’s departure which had been planned will cause more dysfunctionality considering that till now, no known screening is going on.
“They are confused, they don’t even know when they will be screened nor the mode of primary, the National Chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, held a meeting with President Buhari yesterday but we don’t know the outcome yet. We aren’t even sure maybe the primary will hold as scheduled, no screening three days to the exercise,” a source said.