Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday fly out of the country to attend the Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, coming one day after his inauguration for a second term in office.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement saide the 14th session of the Summit Conference of the OIC, scheduled for Friday, will be hosted by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and attended by Heads of State and Governments of Member States.
The theme of the summit: “Makkah al-Mukarramah Summit: Hand-in-Hand toward the Future,” seeks to develop a unified stance on events in the Islamic world.
President 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.
The president will also push forward themes that have been at the forefront of his domestic and international priorities, including reviving the Lake Chad Basin, investing in Nigeria to create jobs and finance for development.
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.
President Buhari, who is expected to return to the country on June 2, will be accompanied by governors Mohammed, Badaru Abubakar, of Jigawa State, Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State and Abubakar, Sani Bello, of Niger State.
Also on the delegation are the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mustapha Suleiman; Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar; Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ali Pantami; and the Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Abdullahi Mukthar.
Ahead of the summit, was a preparatory meeting in Jeddah meant to adopt the draft agenda and work programme for the summit.
On the agenda are the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict, combating terrorism and violent extremism, the humanitarian situation in the Muslim world, and promotion of scientific cooperation, among others.
President Buhari becomes the third Nigerian leader to attend the OIC conference in person, after the late Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.