President Muhammadu Buhari will leave for Saudi Arabia on Thursday, May 16, 2019 to perform lesser hajj in the Kingdom.

The president's Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed in a statement on Wednesday, May 15 that he was invited by the ruler of Saudi Arabia, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, to perform the Umrah.

"To this effect, the President, accompanied by close personal aides, will embark on the journey on Thursday, 16th May," Shehu said.

Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that can be performed at any time of the year unlike Hajj which has specific dates.

"Umrah is an optional but recommended pilgrimage to Makkah that can be made at any time of the year," Shehu noted.

President Buhari is expected back in the country on Tuesday, May 21, days before he's sworn in for a second term on May 29.