By Wilson Adekumola
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has returned to Abuja after eight days of official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he also performed the Umrah, Lesser Hajj.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the Nigerian leader departed Saudi Arabia via King Abdulaziz International Airport Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday.
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.
It was learnt that the president had, alongside members of his entourage as well as some traditional and religious leaders from the six geopolitical zones of the country, been 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.
Buhari, while in Makkah, 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.
Prominent among 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.