Buhari jets out to Gambia, Bamako for ECOWAS summit

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to visit Banjul, the capital of The Gambia and Bamako, the Malian capital on official engagements.
A statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, on Thursday in Abuja said the  President will undertake the trips between Saturday and Sunday.
According to the statement, in Banjul, the President, as the Mediator in The Gambia, is scheduled to meet with President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia and the President-elect Adama Barrow.
The meeting is in continuation of dialogue on the political situation in the West African country.
Adesina said that Buhari would be joined by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and Chairperson of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, and President Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone.
The immediate past President of Ghana, John Mahama, who is the co-meditator of The Gambian mission, will also join the ECOWAS leaders.
The statement said that later on Jan. 13, the President will travel to Bamako, Mali to participate in the 27th Africa–France Summit.
The Summit for Partnership, Peace and Emergence, convened by French President Francois Hollande, is aimed at strengthening cooperation between France and African countries in areas of peace and security, economic partnership and development.
He said that President Buhari would reaffirm Nigeria’s commitment to global efforts on the war against terror and underline the need for improved collaboration to address the menace of terrorism in the region.
He said that President Buhari would also use the opportunity of the summit to underscore the efforts his administration was making to improve Nigeria’s business environment to attract more foreign direct investment.
“The President will be accompanied by Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Interior and Defence,’’ Adesina said.

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