Buhari ignores Adeosun’s certificate scandal, travels out with minister

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Embattled minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun will join President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday to depart Abuja for Lome, Republic of Togo, to participate in two high-level meetings.

The Presidency and minister have kept mum in the face of public outcry and mounting pressure over NYSC certificate forgery against the minister.

A statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Saturday, said Buhari would on arrival have an interactive session at the Nigerian embassy with the Nigerian community based in Togo.

According to him, the president, on Monday, will attend the Joint ECOWAS/ECCAS Summit which will deliberate on common security threats to countries in West Africa and members of the Economic Community of Central African States, ECCAS.

Mr Shehu explained that the meeting was being convened with a view to forging concerted strategies in tackling the menace of terrorism, trans-border crimes and other forms of violent extremism.

It would be recalled that President Buhari had expressed support for the proposed ECOWAS/ECCAS Summit when he received the current Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo on June 29, in Katsina.

Mr Shehu stated that while in Lome, the Nigerian delegation would also participate in a meeting on a Single Currency for ECOWAS with the deadline of 2020.

“Being the largest economy not only in West Africa but also on the continent, Nigeria’s leadership role in this sub-regional aspiration cannot be over-emphasised,’’ he noted.

According to the presidential aide, on Tuesday, Mr Buhari will join other leaders of the sub-region for the 53 Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.

He said: “This session will be dominated by the political and security situations in Guinea Bissau, Mali and Togo; institutional reforms of the ECOWAS Commission to enhance its effectiveness; illegal migration of Africans to Europe; and the worrisome violent clashes between herders and farmers, among other issues.

“At the end of the session, a new Chair of the ECOWAS Authority is expected to take over from the incumbent and host.’’

The statement said President Buhari would be accompanied by Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River and Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger.

Others are Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali; Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau and Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah.

The National Security Adviser, NSA, Babagana Monguno; the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Abayomi Olonisakin; the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ahmed Abubakar; and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, are also in the president’s delegation.

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