By Tordue SALEM, Abuja
A Bill to provide a presidential succession plan for the country awaits imminent passage in the House ofÂ Representatives. The sponsor of the Bill thinks the succession arrangement as proposed, could check possible moves to abort a civil succession.
Besides, the piece of legislation seeks a role for senators and members of the House in the inauguration of the next President of the country. If the Bill becomes Law, it would be the first time the National Assembly will be legislating on such a ceremonial function.
The bill sponsored by Rep. Muhammed Abubakar Maifatta(ANPP/Kano) and obtained by Saturday Vanguard yesterday, is titled: A Bill for An Act to Provide for the Presidential Transition and for Matters Connected Therewith.
The Bill seeks to establish a â€œCommittee to be known as the Presidential Inauguration Committeeâ€, which â€œshall consist of a Chairman, who shall be a senator and a member of the House of Representatives respectively; ten distinguished members of the Nigerian Senate who shall be appointed by the Senate leadershipâ€, and â€œTen Honourable members of the House of Representatives who shall be appointed by the leadership of the House of Representativesâ€
The intent of the Bill, the sponsor argued is with a view to â€œensuring that every adequate and lawful steps are taken to promote orderly transition in the office of the President and Vice_President, co_ordinating and taking full responsibility for the organisation of the Presidential inauguration ceremonies, and taking appropriate lawful steps to avoid or minimize disruptions that might be occasioned by the transfer of executive power.
The Bill seeks, in addition to establishing a special fund for inauguration purposes, the reimbursement of the President and Vice_President_elect, â€œall reasonable expenses incurred by them in relation to the affairs of the State and prior to the presidential inaugurationâ€.
According to the sponsor, the law would help in â€œconceiving, initiating and implementing programmes and policies necessary for the carrying out of its functions and objectivesâ€, as â€œIn pursuance of this Bill, the Committee shall ensure that there is a smooth and an effective transition from the out_going administration to the incoming oneâ€.
The Bill seeks to appoint â€œa Secretary who shall be a permanent secretary in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and be subject to the general control of the Committeeâ€
The Bill also seeks a role for security forces in the Country, the ministries of interior, foreign affairs, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and other necessary government agencies.
There should be â€œa representative each of Nigerian Police, not below the rank of a DIG of Police, Nigerian Army, not below the rank of a Major_General, National Security Adviser, Nigerian Immigration, not below the rank of Deputy Comptroller, Director_General SSS, a representative of the Ministry of foreign affairs not below the rank of permanent secretary, and a representative from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, not below the rank of a permanent secretaryâ€, the Bill seeks among several other things.