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Buhari attends Cen-Sad meeting in Chad, security tops agenda 

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President Muhammadu Buhari would depart Abuja today for N’Djamena, the 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.”

Delegates from 22 member-nations are expected at the meeting holding today at the Radisson Blu Hotel, N’Djamena.Buhari and other regional leaders would join their host and current Chairperson of CEN-SAD Conference, President Idriss Deby Itno to deliberate, among others, on political and security issues, state of peace and ways to address multifaceted threats in the CEN-SAD area, especially Boko Haram insurgency 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, special awards would be given to heads of state and military contingents in Mali, Sudan, Somalia, Central African Republic and the Lake Chad Basin.  

Buhari would be accompanied to the meeting by Governors Kashim Shettima (Borno), Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos) and Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun), as well as Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Interior, Lt-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd); Defence, Brig-Gen. Mansur Dan Ali (rtd); National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen. Mohammed Monguno (rtd); Director General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; Comptroller General of Immigration, Mohammed Babandede and the Federal Commissioner for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Sadiya Umar Farouq.

Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement, yesterday, said the President would return to the country at the end of the conference today.


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