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3 Governors, 7 Ministers, Others Accompany Buhari to South Africa

President Muhammadu Buhari will on Wednesday embark on a three-day visit to South Africa to discuss the welfare of Nigerians living in that country.

Three governors, seven ministers and three other senior aides are accompanying him on the visit.

The visit is at the instance of the South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, following xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa by its citizens.

A statement issued on Tuesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), Garba Shehu, said finding common grounds for building a harmonious relationship would be part of the agenda.

The statement reads, “President Muhammadu Buhari departs Abuja Wednesday on a three-day State Visit to the Republic of South Africa, following an invitation by President Cyril Ramaphosa, to discuss welfare of Nigerians, and find common grounds for building harmonious relations with their hosts.

“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.

“While in South Africa, the Nigerian leader will 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.

“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 Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State; Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State; and governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State.

“Others are Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd); Minister of Power, Eng. Saleh Mamman; Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite; Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi; and Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum.

“Also on the trip are 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. The President will return to Abuja on Friday.”

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