The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Monday afternoon, returned from Addis Ababa after attending the 36th African Union Summit in the Ethiopian capital.
Buhari, who departed Abuja for the Horn of Africa, participated in three high-level meetings on peace and security, climate change and the political situation in some West African countries.
Besides the AU Summit, themed, ‘Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation’, the President also participated in an Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States which was held on the sidelines of the main event.
Speaking at the second Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Sahel Region Climate Commission, Buhari flaunted Nigeria’s readiness to host Secretariat of the Sahel Climate Fund.
At another High-Level side event on Early Warning Within the Framework of the African Union Peace and Security Council and the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services in Africa, the President said timely information-sharing amongst contiguous African States was vital to successful early warning and response to terror threats around the continent.
He also revealed that Nigeria had fully embraced the spirit of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement having signed, ratified and deposited the instrument at the African Union Commission.
Therefore, he urged all member states that have not yet ratified the Agreement to do so.
Last Friday, the Nigerian leader was represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, at the meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council on the situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
At the mini-summit, which took place simultaneously with the SRCC high-level meeting, African leaders urged all armed groups to withdraw from occupied territory in the eastern DRC by the end of next month.
They also called for an “immediate ceasefire” by all armed groups and the resettlement of people displaced by the violence.
The 36th AU summit is Buhari’s last as President and his third foreign trip in 2023.
Meanwhile, the President is expected to lead other chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, including the presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, to Lagos on Tuesday for the grand finale of the party’s presidential campaigns.