31st May, 2022
Notwithstanding the fact that preparation of his party, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC primary where the candidate of the party will be chosen is a feverish pitch, President Muhammadu Buhari is set to jet out from Abuja for Madrid, Spain.
A statement from the presidency indicated that Buhari will leave Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital on Tuesday for a State Visit to Spain at the invitation of the Spanish President, Pedro Sanchez.
The statement, signed by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on media & publicity was released just as Buhari was meeting with governors of APC as part of preparation for national convention that produce the party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 general elections.
The primary has been scheduled to take place between June 6 and 8.
The APC Presidential Screening Committee led by a former Edo State governor and former APC national chairman, John Oyegun has been screening the over 20 presidential hopefuls who indicated interest in flying the party’s flag in 2023.
President had also last on Thursday, departed Abuja to participate in the African Union Extra-ordinary Session of Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, with a special focus on security days to the initial date fixed for the presidential primary of APC.
It was believed that the President’s absence from the country forced the shift in date of the presidential primary from the initial Sunday, May 29 and Monday, May 30, 2022 yo the new date.
However, the President is expected back in the country on Friday, June 3 ahead of the primary.
On the President Buhari’s engagement while in Spain, Adesina said in the statement: At a separate meeting during the visit, the first by the Nigerian leader, President Buhari will also meet with the Head of State of the Spanish nation, His Majesty King Felipe VI.
“During his engagements with both leaders, the Nigerian President will discuss issues of mutual interest to both countries, which will expectedly result in the signing of Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding on a wide range of topics geared towards further enhancing the bilateral relations between the two nations.
“Such areas include: Extradition and transfer of convicted persons, Mutual Legal Assistance, Cultural Matters, Cooperation towards fighting crime and enhancing security, as well as issues affecting dependants of diplomatic staff.
“Also on the agenda are Cooperation on Energy, Trade and Investment, Transportation, Public Health and Sports Development.
“The President will also be the Special Guest at an Investment Forum jointly organized by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of Trade, and the Confederation of Employers (CEOE) where he will speak to the gathering of top members of the Spanish business community and their Nigerian counterparts on the investment opportunities in Nigeria and ways of expanding the volume of trade as well as further collaborating for the development of the economies of both countries.
Adesina added in the statement that Buhari will be accompanied on the trip to Spain by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN); Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo; Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare; and the Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora.
Other members of the delegation are the National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd); Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar; and Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.