SAUDI ARABIA- President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to Abuja after eight-day official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he also performed the Umrah (Lesser Hajj).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigerian leader departed Saudi Arabia via King Abdulaziz International Airport Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday.
NAN reports that Saudi Government officials, traditional and spiritual leaders from Nigeria as well as some senior staff of the Nigerian Embassy in the Kingdom were at the airport to bid farewell to the president.
The president had successfully performed Umrah rituals, amid tight security, upon his arrival at the Grand Mosque in Makkah from Madinah on Thursday morning.
NAN reports that the president had along side members of his entourage as well as some traditional and religious leaders from the six geopolitical zones of the country were led by a delegation from the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque in the performance of the rituals.
The Nigerian leader had earlier visited some historic religious places in Madinah on Tuesday and Wednesday before he proceeded to Makkah for the Umrah.
The president also received updates on developments at home from some government officials including Governors of Borno and Yobe States.
Also while in Makkah, President Buhari hosted some traditional and religious leaders to Iftar dinner (breaking of fast).
The Emirs of Kano and Bichi in Kano State, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero and Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero who spoke after the event both said only a united country could move forward and attain its goals.
The religious leaders in attendance were Malam Abubakar Sulaiman, the Chief Imam of the Aso Rock Villa, Sheikh Al-Kanawi Alhassan Ahmed, Dr. Bashir Umar, Muhammad Kamaluddeen Lemu and Nuruddeen Danesi Asunogie.
The others were Alhaji Ibrahim Kasuwar Magani, Prof. Shehu Galadanchi, Alhaji Abdulrasheed Adiatu, Sheikh Haroun Ogbonnia Ajah and Alhaji Bala Lau.
The president had also met the Otaru of Auchi, Dr. Aliru Momoh, Emir of Lafia, Justice Sidi Mamman Bage, Emir of Bauchi, Rilwan Adamu Sulaiman, Akadiri Saliu Momoh, Abdulfatah Chimaeze Emetumah, Fatima Ijeoma Emetumah and Alhaji Isa Sanusi Bayero.
Prayer were offered for peace in the country, the successful end of term of the President and for the success of the incoming administration.
President Buhari had earlier visited and prayed at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.
He also met with elder statesman, philanthropist and patriarch of the Dantata family, Alhaji Aminu Dantata, in Makkah where he once again expressed his condolences over the demise of his wife, Hajiya Rabi Dantata.
NAN reports that the Kano-based businessman had on April 9 lost his wife, Rabi Dantata, at a medical centre in Saudi Arabia. (NAN)