Buhari to stop over in London on way back from UN session

President Muhammadu Buhari who will leave Nigeria on Sunday for New York to attend the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 72), will stopover in London on his return to Nigeria, the Presidency has said.

Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, who disclosed this in a statement on Friday, said President Buhari will have a lunch meeting with American President, Donald Trump and other world leaders.

Although the presidential spokesman did not disclose the reason for the stopover President Buhari would be making in London, it may not be unconnected with his health challenge, which has seen him stay away from the office since his return to the country on August 19.

President Buhari is leaving Nigeria amid heightened crisis in the southeast region of the country where the army and members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) have clashed in the last few days following the drafting of the army to Aba and Umuahia, two major cities in Abia State.

According to the statement by Adesina, the high point of the President’s visit will be his participation in the General Debate during which he will deliver the country’s national statement.

The theme for this year’s Debate is: “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet.”

President Buhari will join other world leaders at the welcoming reception to be hosted by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, and also hold a bilateral meeting with the UN scribe.

During the General Assembly, Nigeria will participate in high level meetings on ‘Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: Building Momentum for Change,’ the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, a High Level Event organized by the African Union under its Theme of the Year: ‘Roadmap on the Demographic Dividend: from Commitment to Action,’ among others.

Adesina said President Buhari and members of his delegation will strive to project Nigeria as a strong moral force and responsible member of the international community.

“Nigeria’s commitment to global peace, security and development will also be reaffirmed and where necessary, the need for increased international cooperation in the fight against corruption,” Adesina said.

He said other priorities for the Nigerian delegation at UNGA 72 include strengthening human rights institutions; the rule of law; support for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as a result of terrorist acts and recent flooding, and mitigating the effects of Climate Change.

The Nigerian delegation will also canvass the support of UN member states for the Buhari Administration’s efforts towards combating illicit financial flows in order to foster sustainable development.

The President will be accompanied by the governors of Zamfara, Ebonyi and Ondo States, and key cabinet ministers.