President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday departed Abuja for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to participate at the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU).
The president left the Presidential Villa, Abuja, via the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport for Addis Ababa two hours after observing the weekly Friday’s Juma’at prayer.
The President alongside with hundreds of other Muslim faithful performed the two Raka’at Juma’at prayer at the Aso Rock Mosque.
Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, had on January 25, in a statement disclosed that the highlight of the President’s engagements during the visit would be his statements under the historic theme for the AU Summit, namely: “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.”
“This is the first time in the 54-year history of the AU that anti-corruption will be made a theme of the gathering of the regional leaders,’’ the statement said.
It would be recalled that, on July 4, 2017, during the 29th Session of the AU, African leaders unanimously endorsed President Buhari to champion the fight against corruption on the continent.
The endorsement was in recognition of his personal commitment and widely acclaimed anti-graft drive at the domestic level.
On July 25, 2017, the President, in a letter to President Alpha Conde of Guinea, who is also the out-going AU Chairperson, formally accepted his nomination to lead members of the AU on this crucial crusade against a veritable socio-economic vice that is anti-development.
While thanking his colleagues for the honour, Buhari reiterated his “commitment to contribute towards our collective efforts to strengthen good governance and development on the continent.’’
Adesina said that apart from anti-corruption, other issues lined for consideration by African leaders and their delegations would include peace and security (transnational terrorism). institutional reforms of the continental body and free movement of persons.
Others are climate change, trade; aviation, education, gender and development.
He said President Buhari would also hold bilateral meetings with some of his colleagues on issues of common interests.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Danbazau and the Minister of State (Aviation), Hadi Sirika, are in the President’s delegation to the summit.
Others are the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, and the Ag. Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC ), Mr Ibrahim Magu.