President Goodluck Jonathan will on May 28 present to the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, his government’s handover notes, and will conduct Mr. Buhari around the Aso Rock presidential Villa ahead of the inauguration of the new government on May 29, the government has announced.
The decision was discussed at the Council of State meeting Tuesday, the last for the Jonathan administration.
The meeting is constitutionally chaired by the president, with all past presidents and heads of state and governors of the 36 states, as members. The heads of the National Assembly are also members, as well as former and serving attorneys general.
Tuesday’s meeting was attended by all past leaders including Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, Mr. Buhari, Yakubu Gowon, Shehu Shagari, Abdulsalami Abubakar, and Ernest Shonekan.
State governors at the meeting are Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Ramalan Yero (Kanuda), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), James Ngilari (Adamawa), Tanko Almakura (Nasarawa), Gabriel Suswam (Benue).
Others are Martin Elechi (Ebonyi), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Jonah Jang (Plateau) Liyel Imoke (Cross River), and Acting governor of Taraba state.
States that were represented by their deputy governors include Kano, Kogi, Oyo, Yobe.
The Senate President, David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, and former Chief Justices of Nigeria including Muhammadu Uwais and Alfa Belgore, Idris Kutigi were also in attendance.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki and the Chief of Staff to the President, Jones Arogbofa also attended.
All official documents prepared by the transition committee of the current administration will be handed over on the 28, while May 29 will be reserved for the inauguration, Niger state governor, Babangida Aliyu, told journalists after the meeting.
Benue state Governor, Gabriel Suswam who briefed alongside Mr. Aliyu, said the council took time to discuss the transition process, and said subsequently, a template will be followed for subsequent transitions whether or not it is same party.
“Council decided that henceforth there has to be a template in which transition will follow, 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,” he said.
“If there is a transition whether 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.”
Mr. Aliyu said invitations for the inauguration have been sent to all African leaders, the G8 and other multinational organizations.
“We also reiterated that there will be no African time. This idea of inviting people and the invitee arrives before the inviter is not good for us. And therefore we must set examples for people to follow as leaders and those of us we organise this event we must stick to the details of the timing of the activities” he said.
Mr. Suswam said the Council also discussed the security situation in the country as briefed by the NSA. He said the NSA said that Nigeria is now more prepared than it was three years ago to fight insurgency.
He said the issue of the clashes between the herdsmen and the farmers was also addressed.
“Actually the report that was presented by the Economic Council under my chairmanship as relates to the issues of grazing and what the federal government need to do in order to address that will be presented to the incoming president so that he will act on it, since there is no time for the administration to do that,” he said.
He said the issues of fuel scarcity and non-payment of salaries were brought up but were referred to the economic council, Suswam added.
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