President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja today (Saturday) for N’Djamena, capital of Chad Republic, to participate in the Extraordinary Session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, CEN-SAD.
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 which 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 and other regional leaders will join their host and current Chairperson of CEN-SAD Conference, President Idriss Deby, to deliberate among others on political and security issues, state of 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 will be given to Heads of State and military contingents in Mali, Sudan, Somalia, Central African Republic and in the Lake Chad Basin.
President Buhari will be accompanied to the CEN-SAD meeting by Governors Kashim Shettima, Akinwunmi Ambode and Adegboyega Oyetola of Borno, Lagos and Osun state respectively.
Others include Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Interior, Adulrahman Danbazau; Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali; National Security Adviser, Mohammed Monguno; Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mohammed Babandede; and the Federal Commissioner for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Sadiya Umar Farouq.
The president will return to the country at the end of the conference on Saturday.