President Bola Tinubu on Saturday arrived in Bissau, the capital of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, for the 63rd Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States.
The President also used the opportunity of the summit to visit the Nigerian contingent stationed in the country under the ECOWAS Stabilisation Force.
This was disclosed in a statement by Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy, Dele Alake.
This came weeks after participating in a global summit with the theme, ‘A new global financing pact’ hosted in Paris by President Emmanuel Macron.
The 63rd Ordinary Session summit, which will open on Sunday, July 9, 2023, will be the first international engagement of the President within the African continent since he assumed office on May 29, 2023.
President Tinubu whose plane touched down at the International Airport in Bissau at exactly 5.30 pm local time would join other ECOWAS leaders to discuss trade, economy and security, amongst other issues.
The 16 regional leaders are expected to address memoranda on pressing sub-regional issues including the Report of the 50th Ordinary Session of the Mediation and Security Council, covering security challenges faced by the member countries; the report of the 90th Ordinary Session of ECOWAS Council of Ministers on the financial situation of the body and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Tinubu while visiting the Nigerian troops under the ECOWAS Stabilisation Force in Guinea-Bissau expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the soldiers and their Commander, General Al-hassan Grema, for their dedication and service to Nigeria and their host country, adding that Nigeria would continue to support democracy in West Africa and around the world.
“I am here to show solidarity with you. I want to assure you we are committed to supporting peace and democracy not only in West Africa but around the world,” Tinubu was quoted as saying.
On the entourage of the President were the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu; Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Folashodun Shonubi; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb Adamu Ibrahim Lamuwa; Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Dr Ibrahim Kana; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mr Aliyu Ahmed, and ECOWAS Permanent Representative, Amb Musa Nuhu.
Others in the entourage include former governors Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), and Senator Abu Ibrahim from Katsina State.