President Goodluck Jonathan will on May 28 lead President-elect Gen. Muhammadu Buhari on a tour of the Presidential Villa. Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam yesterday [May 12] broke the news to State House correspondents at the end of the Council of State meeting in Abuja.
He briefed journalists alongside Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu. Aliyu said President Jonathan will give the handover notes to the President-elect on May 28. A dinner will be held on the same day. The inauguration of the new government, he said, will hold on May 29. According to Aliyu, many African and world leaders will attend the inauguration.
Suswam said: “On 28th, President Jonathan will conduct Gen. Buhari and the Vice President-elect, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, round the Villa”. He said the council decided on a template to be followed during transition in Nigeria as this is the first time a ruling party is handing over to an opposition party.
His words: “We have never had it. This is the first time one is going to be developed, so that there is no speculation as to what needs to be done as everything will be in a template. If there is a transition –whether it is from the same party to the same party or from one party to another – it is the same template.” “You will recall that we have never had a template in which to follow and how we go about our transition but what is going to happen this time around is going to be permanent.”
On the transition, Aliyu said: “One is inauguration, the formality of the new president taking over. Technically, the 29th is for the man taking over. For handing over documents, you don’t wait till that 29th because after the inauguration the transition committee may continue.”
“If you recall, when President Jonathan came on board, he inaugurated the Gen. (Theophilus) Danjuma Committee to look at all the documents that were handed over to them and make recommendations. So it is a continous thing.” “The handing over of documents from the outgoing President to the incoming President-elect will take place on the 28th and the inauguration on the 29.”
Continuing, he said: “Every Ministry, department and agency that has worked for government, including all the funds that have been collected, how they have been utilised and the assets and the liabilities of government will all be put together in documents and be handed over to the incoming government. Officially, the government will be handed over on the 28th of May.”
“The inauguration is on the 29th, as you know the committees have concluded their arrangements. Invitations have been sent out to all the presidents of African countries, including presidents and prime ministers of the G8, including multilateral heads, like the United Nations, Commonwealth, ECOWAS, African Union. We expect a beautiful ceremony on the 29th.”