President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Wednesday for a three-day state visit to the Republic of South Africa, following an invitation by President Cyril Ramaphosa, to discuss the welfare of Nigerians.
The visit comes against the background of recent xenophobic attacks, the evacuation of hundreds of Nigerians and the exchange of visits by Special Envoys of Presidents Buhari and Ramaphosa.
A statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Tuesday, said the two African leaders would find common grounds for building harmonious relations among their respective citizens.
While in South Africa, the Nigerian leader will hold a town hall meeting with Nigerians living in the country, to share in their experiences.
Shehu said the Nigerian leader would use the opportunity to reassure them of the 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 communique.
“The President and his delegation including Nigerian business representatives will also participate at a South Africa-Nigeria Business Forum with their host counterparts,’’ the presidential aide stated.
According to Shehu, President Buhari will be accompanied by Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau State and Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi.
Others are Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd); Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman and Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite; Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi; and Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Mariam Katagum, are also on the President’s entourage.
Also on the trip are National Security Adviser, Rtd. Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno, Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Mr Ahmed Abubakar and Chairman/CEO Nigeria Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
The Presidential aide said Buhari would return to Abuja on Friday.