President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Wednesday for a three-day State Visit to South Africa, a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, says.
According to the statement, President Buhari’s visit to South Africa is to honour the invitation by that country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, to discuss the welfare of Nigerians, and find common grounds for building harmonious relations with their hosts.
The visit follows recent xenophobic attacks, the evacuation of hundreds of Nigerians and the exchange of visits by Special Envoys of Presidents Buhari and Ramaphosa.
The statement noted that while in South Africa, the President Buhari would hold a town hall meeting with Nigerians living in the country, with a view to sharing in their experiences and reassuring them of Nigerian government’s commitment to working for the protection of their lives and property and promoting peaceful co-existence.
President Buhari and his host will preside over the South Africa/Nigeria Bi-National Commission, during which a progress report will be presented. At the end of the meeting, both leaders will sign a joint communiqué on the matter.
The President and his delegation including Nigerian business representatives will also participate at a South Africa-Nigeria Business Forum with their host counterparts.
President Buhari will be accompanied by Governors Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (Kano), Simon Lalong (Plateau) and David Umahi (Ebonyi).
The President will also be accompanied on the trip by seven ministers – Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Affairs), Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (Defence), Eng. Saleh Mamman (Power), Rauf Aregbesol (Interior), Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite (Mines and Steel Development), Maigari Dingyadi (Police Affairs) and Amb. Mariam Katagum ( Minister of State, Industry, Trade, and Investment).
The National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd); Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; and Chairman/CEO Nigeria Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa completed the list.
Buhari is expected to return to Abuja on Friday.