President Muhammadu Buhari returns to Abuja after two-day trip to Ethiopia

President Muhammadu Buhari returns to Abuja after two-day trip to Ethiopia.

President Muhammadu Buhari returned to Abuja yesterday from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, after a two-day visit to the country, attending the second term inauguration of Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy.

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The President, who touched down at the Presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at about 2pm, was received by his Chief of Staff Professor Ibrahim Gambari; the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello; and the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Aklali Baba.

While in Addis Ababa, President Buhari delivered a goodwill message at the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Abiy, during which he called for peace between the sides involved in the Ethiopian political crisis.

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He also pledged that Nigeria would continue to support the unity and territorial integrity of Ethiopia, saying: “We are well aware of the many challenges facing the people of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and we encourage all parties to come together in the interest of the unity, progress and wellbeing of Ethiopia.

“Your Excellency, you, therefore, have a great opportunity to continue to work for the peace and stability of Ethiopia,’’ he said.

Also yesterday, he met with the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, just before departing Addis Ababa, assuring him that Nigeria would be available to lend a hand of assistance to help the country in achieving economic and political stability.

According to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, he assured the full support of Nigeria to all efforts to bring long-term stability and prosperity to the continent.

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On the situation in Guinea and Mali, President Buhari reiterated that African leaders must support efforts geared towards the return of democracy in the countries.

The President expressed concern that as long as Libya remained unstable, the proliferation of arms and the problems in the Sahel would continue.

In his remarks, President Kiir, who acknowledged Nigeria’s leadership role in Africa, appreciated the country’s effort in the liberation struggle of South Sudan.

He also commended the First Lady of Nigeria for assisting in the education of many South Sudanese girls in the country.

‘‘In West Africa, ECOWAS intervenes immediately whenever a country has a problem. That should be adopted in East and Central Africa,’’ he said.

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President Buhari and President Kiir were among several African leaders that attended the inauguration ceremony of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia for a second five-year term in office.

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