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Terror attacks: Presidency justifies Buhari’s trip to Senegal amidst outcry

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The Presidency, Wednesday justified President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to travel to Dakar, Senegal to attend the International Development Association (IDA) for Africa Summit.

The President has been under attack over his decision to travel out of the country despite daunting security challenges.

Recall that terrorists attacked a convoy of cars carrying the Advance Team of security guards, protocol and media officers ahead of President, Muhammadu Buhari’s trip to Daura for Sallah, Tuesday, which left two persons injured.

But the Presidency in a statement described the incident as sad and unwelcome, the shooting near Dutsinma, Katsina State.

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The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in the statement said the attackers opened fire on the convoy from ambush positions but were repelled by the military, police and DSS personnel accompanying the convoy.

An eyewitness had said that a protocol officer from the presidency and a woman were the two persons that sustained injuries in the attack.

Besides, Boko Haram terrorists launched a ferocious attack on Kuje Correctional Center Tuesday night, deploying bombs, Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) and General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG), freeing no less than 600 inmates, including Boko Haram fighters detained at the facility.

Six inmates and one security personnel were killed during the attack. Both incidents coming barely few hours prior to Buhari’s departure has prompted a public outcry, describing the President as insensitive to the people’s insecurity predicament.

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Reacting while fielding a question on the incidents, the Presidency, through its Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, said shelving the scheduled trip would tantamount to surrendering to the whims and caprices of the terrorists.

According to him, “Yes, the President should go! The Spokesman quipped.

“Because there’s an international conference meant for heads of states and presidents, he should attend. You should never give in to terrorists. The moment terrorists begin to stop you from doing things, then we might as well throw up our hands in surrender. The President should go ahead. Yes, it’s an international obligation.”

At the High Level event slated for tomorrow, Thursday, and hosted by President Macky Sall of the Republic of Senegal, President Buhari is expected to join other African leaders in an open Dialogue on Development Challenges and priorities as well as transformational initiatives that will lead to an outcome document, the Dakar Declaration.

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Topics slated for discussion include: Financing for Recovery and Economic Transformation in Africa; Agriculture, Livestock and Food Security; Human Capital; Digital and Technological Innovation; and Energy Transition and Climate Change.

The President will be accompanied on the trip by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama; Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; as well as Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo.

Others on the entourage are: the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; Director- General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar; Director-General, Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha; and the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry, Olukayode Pitan.

President Buhari is expected back in the country at the end of the Summit tomorrow, Thursday.

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