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Buhari lands in Addis Ababa for Ethiopia PM inauguration

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President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), arrived in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, on Sunday for the inauguration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for another five-year term in office.

The President’s aircraft, Nigerian Air Force 001, touched down at the newly built VIP Terminal of Bole International Airport at 5.06 pm (Nigerian time).

Buhari, who was accorded a full guard of honour by the Ethiopian National Defence Force, was received by Prime Minister Ahmed.

After the inspection of the guard of honour, the Ahmed gestured Buhari into a waiting SUV, took control of the wheels, chauffeuring him straight to the newly built friendship park for a private dinner, attended by the President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde, and the President of Senegal, Macky Sall.

While in Addis Ababa, the President is expected to deliver a goodwill message at the inauguration event scheduled to hold at Meskel Square.

Buhari will join other African leaders, who will attend the event in person, including the Presidents of Djibouti, Kenya, South Sudan, Senegal, Somalia, Uganda and the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He will also attend a State Dinner at the National Defence Headquarters, Addis Ababa.

On the significance of President Buhari’s visit to the country, the Ambassador of Nigeria to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, Victor Adeleke, said, ‘‘Nigeria and Ethiopia enjoy warm cordial relations, they are equally the two largest democracies in Africa, in this wise, the attendance of President Buhari at the inauguration ceremony of Prime Minister Ahmed is an indication of the President’s commitment to strengthening democracy in Africa.”

He said, “You will recall that the then Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Dessalegne visited Abuja, Nigeria in July 2014 where he was guest of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

“In the same vein, at the invitation of Prime Minister Ahmed, President Muhammadu Buhari undertook a State Visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in February 2020.

“Nigeria and Ethiopia are both working on several areas of bilateral cooperation, particularly in the areas of Defence, Aviation, Science and Technology, Industry, as well as extending assistance to Ethiopia through the Technical Aid Corps programme,’’ he said.

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