President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, for the re-election of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for a new five-year term.
The president’s plane, Nigerian Air Force 001, touched down at the newly constructed VIP terminal at Bole International Airport at 5:06 p.m. (Nigerian time).
President Buhari, who received a full guard of honor from the Ethiopian National Defense Forces upon his arrival, was received by Prime Minister Ahmed.
After the Honor Guard inspection, the Prime Minister motioned for the President to get into a waiting SUV, took control of the wheels, taking him straight to the newly built Sprawling Friendship Park for a private dinner , in the presence of the Ethiopian President, Sahle-Work Zewde, and the President of Senegal, Macky Sall.
In Addis Ababa, the president is expected to deliver a message of goodwill at the planned inauguration event in historic Meskel Square.
President 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 Democratic Republic of Congo.
He will also attend a state dinner at National Defense Headquarters in Addis Ababa.
Regarding the importance of President Buhari’s visit to the country, Nigerian Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, Victor Adeleke, told reporters that:
Nigeria and Ethiopia enjoy warm and cordial relations, they are also the two largest democracies in Africa, in this sense, the presence of President Buhari at the inauguration ceremony of Prime Minister Ahmed is an indication of the president’s commitment to strengthening democracy in Africa. ”
The ambassador, who simultaneously holds accreditation with Djibouti and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), explained that the visit would also provide President Buhari with an opportunity to strengthen bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and Ethiopia.
The ambassador added that over the years there had been great eagerness and zeal on the part of the two countries to cooperate towards positive agreements, part of which had led to the exchange of official visits. at the highest level.
You will recall that then Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegne visited Abuja, Nigeria in July 2014, where he was a guest of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
In a similar vein, at the invitation of Prime Minister Ahmed, President Muhammadu Buhari paid a state visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in February 2020.
Nigeria and Ethiopia are both working on several areas of bilateral cooperation, including defense, aviation, science and technology, industry, trade and commerce. investment, agriculture, health, youth and sports development, communication, information and media as well as the extension of assistance to Ethiopia through the Corps program. ‘tech help,’ he said.