By Sadiq Umar, Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness on the passing away of the Paramount Ruler of the Tiv people of Benue State, the Tor Tiv, Alfred Akawe Torkula and a Minister of Defence in the First Republic, Muhammadu Inuwa Wada.
In separate condolences, the President commiserates with the immediate families, friends and associates of the deceased, the governments and people of Benue and Kano States and urges them to take solace in the knowledge that the departed distinguished Nigerians lived well and contributed significantly to the development of not only their states but the country in general.
In a statement by the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari, noted that the Fourth Tor Tiv was a great advocate of peace and unity during his 24-year reign, urging his subjects to maintain the existing peace during and after the succession process.
On Mr. Wada, the President recalled with pride his active years as a renowned teacher, parliamentarian and minister up until his post-political career as a foremost transporter and industrialist.
The President prayed God Almighty to rest “the souls of the two senior citizens whose wisdom and fatherly counsel will certainly be missed by the current crop of leaders in the country”.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari will leave Abuja Thursday, November 26 for Malta to participate in the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting which begins in the Island nation on Friday.
Buhari and other Heads of State and Government who will be in Malta for this year’s summit are expected to deliberate on fresh Commonwealth initiatives on development and climate change with a view to adding greater value to the ongoing global efforts in these areas.
A new Secretary-General of the Commonwealth who will take over from the incumbent, Kamalesh Sharma, will be announced at the summit, which will also feature the presentation of a progress report on the eradication of polio.
The Head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, will formally declare the summit open and host a banquet in honour of President Buhari and other participating Heads of State and Government.
When the Summit ends Sunday, a statement issued Wednesday, by SA to the Nigerian Leader on Media and Publicity, Femi Adeshina indicated, Buhari will leave Malta for Paris where he will present Nigeria’s statement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference scheduled to open in Paris Monday, November 30.
The President will join over 100 other world leaders at the Leaders Event on the opening day of the conference which will be hosted by President Francois Hollande of France and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki Moon.
President Buhari will also participate in a summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin Republic which has been scheduled to take place on December 2 in Paris on the sidelines of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change.
Deliberations at the Paris meeting of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin Republic will focus mainly on the war against Boko Haram and other security issues of common interest to participating countries.
Mr. President Buhari will be accompanied on the trip by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed and the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd.)
The Commonwealth is made up of Britain, Nigeria and 51 other countries that work together to pursue common goals and promote development, democracy, peace, security and good governance.