President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to leave Abuja for Chad on Saturday.
Garba Shehu, the president’s spokesperson, revealed this in a statement on Friday evening.
He said the purpose of Buhari’s trip was to participate in the Extraordinary Session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, CEN-SAD.
The president and other regional leaders are expected to join their host and current Chairperson of CEN-SAD Conference, President Idriss Deby Into, to deliberate on security and politics among other issues.
Other issues to be discussed include peace and ways to address multifaceted threats in CEN-SAD area, especially Boko Haram and refugees, and make a declaration on the entry into force of CEN-SAD revised Treaty intended to fast track the realisation of the objectives of the body.
During the opening Session of the Conference, special awards would be given to Heads of State and Military contingents in Mali, Sudan, Somalia, Central African Republic and in the Lake Chad Basin.
President Buhari would be accompanied to the meeting by Governors Kashim Shettima, Akinwunmi Ambode and Adegboyega Oyetola of Borno, Lagos and Osun States respectively.
Others are Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Interior, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Danbazau (rtd); Minister of Defence, Brigadier General Mansur Dan Ali (rtd); and the National Security Adviser, Major General Mohammed Monguno (rtd).
Also expected to accompany the President are Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Abubakar; Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mohammed Babandede; and the Federal Commissioner for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Sadiya Farouq.
Created by the Treaty of Tripoli on February 4, 1998, with six founding members, Nigeria joined the current 29-member regional economic community in 2001.
CEN-SAD seeks mainly to create a free trade area in Africa, as well as “strengthen peace, security and stability, and achieve global economic and social development of its members.”
Delegations from 22 member-nations are expected at the extraordinary meeting of CEN-SAD holding on Saturday at the Radisson Blu Hotel, N’Djamena.
President Buhari is expected to return to the country at the end of the Conference on Saturday.