President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has arrived in Bissau, the capital of Guinea-Bissau, for the 63rd Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Summit.
New Telegraph reports this is President Tinubu first international engagement within the African continent since assuming office.
Tinubu also uses the opportunity of the summit to visit Nigerian troops serving in Guinea-Bissau under the ECOWAS Stabilisation Force.
The summit scheduled to commence on Sunday, July 9, 2023, will witness the participation of 16 regional leaders.
At the summit, African leaders will address critical sub-regional matters, including security challenges faced by member countries, the financial situation of ECOWAS, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) implementation, and reports on the transition status in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea.
The leaders will also discuss the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme and obstacles to the free movement of goods along the Abidjan-Lagos corridor.
President Tinubu while at the camp of the Nigerian troops expressed gratitude for their commitment and service, emphasizing Nigeria’s dedication to supporting peace and democracy not only in West Africa but worldwide.
The President commended the troops for their loyalty, stating that Nigeria relies on them for peace and progress in the country.
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Brigadier General Al-hassan Grema, the Commander of the Nigerian troops, conveyed his appreciation to President Tinubu for being the first Commander-in-Chief in Nigeria’s history to visit soldiers deployed beyond the country’s borders.
The President’s visit boosted the morale of the troops.
However, during his stay in Guinea-Bissau, President Tinubu is expected to engage in bilateral meetings and participate in other engagements on the sidelines of the summit.
The President is accompanied by officials including the National Security Adviser, Acting Governor of the Central Bank, Permanent Secretaries from various ministries, and former Governors.
President Tinubu’s presence at the ECOWAS Summit and his visit to Nigerian troops demonstrates Nigeria’s commitment to regional stability, peace, and democracy.
This engagement underscores the country’s role as a key player in the West African region.