Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari is back to Abuja after a trip to Egypt, where he attended the Aswan Forum designed to set “an Agenda for Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa.”
The aim of the forum was to “address the interconnections between peace and development in Africa while promoting Africa-led solutions through strengthening policies and practices.”
He left Tuesday accompanied by Governors Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa, Godwin Obaseki of Edo and Mai Mala Buni of Yobe for the two-day Forum held on December 11-12. The presidential chopper, which conveyed him to Aso Rock Villa from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, landed about 3:15pm Friday. Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, launched the initiative in his capacity as the Chairman of the African Union. Buhari had at the opening session of the Aswan Forum on Wednesday, announced the visa on arrival as a way of promoting free movement and facilitating the full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The President had said: “We in Nigeria have already taken the strategic decision to bring down barriers that have hindered the free movement of our people within the continent by introducing the issuance of visa at the point of entry into Nigeria to all persons holding passports of African countries with effect from January, 2020.” He also said for Africa to progress, the continent must prevent and resolve the conflicts slowing it down.
Meanwhile, President Buhari has congratulated Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his resounding victory in the United Kingdom general election.
Johnson has promised to deliver Brexit and repay the trust of voters after he led the Conservatives to an “historic” general election win in the House of Commons – the party’s largest since 1987.
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari noted that Britain has been a reliable and historically unique ally of Nigeria, and has particularly supported this administration’s efforts at improving security and recovering stolen assets held in the UK. President Buhari said he looks forward to continue working with the Prime Minister to forge a stronger Nigeria-UK relationship, especially in the area of trade and economic partnerships which greatly benefits the citizens of both countries.
He wishes Johnson the best of luck as he navigates the people of Britain through the decisive period of leaving the European Union.