By Daniel Idonor
ABUJAâ€”AFTER 13 days of horse-trading and high-level politicking over who would become the nationâ€™s number two citizen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, yesterday, administered the oath of office on the immediate past Governor of Kaduna State, Muhammad Namadi Sambo as the fourth democratically elected Vice President of the country.
This is as President Goodluck Jonathan declared that the emergence of Namadi Sambo as Nigeriaâ€™s Vice President marked the end of crises among political actors in Aso Rock, especially between President and Vice President.
Insisting that he would ensure a harmonious working relationship with the new Vice President, President Jonathan said: â€œI promise you full cooperation. The stories of crisis between president and vice president will not arise. I will make sure that we work together as a team. I have the confidence to say that because my history is well known by everybody.â€
Jonathan said â€œI have a fair knowledge of areas of disagreement. I was a deputy governor before I became a governor, and I started as a vice president before I became the president.â€
VP Sambo takes oath
After the oath taking event which was witnessed by a capacity crowd of who-is-who in the country, the new Vice President was immediately decorated with the symbolic insignia by President Goodluck Jonathan. This was followed by another decoration of the new appointee, but this time, with the prestigious award of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, GCON, also by the President.
The historic but unique event which held at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa was billed for 10:00 a.m., yesterday, but could not hold due to unforeseen circumstances. It was shifted to 4:00 p.m., in the afternoon, perhaps to enable interested State governors to attend the ceremony.
Some of those present at the ceremony included the Senate President, Senator David Mark, represented by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Eweremadu, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Oladimeji Bankole, former CJN, Justice Mohammed Uwais (rtd), former Minister of Transport in the Second Republic, Alhaji Umaru Dikko, serving and former governors, ministers, traditional rulers among others.
Speaking during the ceremony, Jonathan said: â€œToday we are witnessing a brief ceremony but it is quite unique and important in the political history of Nigeria. I know that we will work together to make sure that we project the interest of this country internationally and work with all stakeholders to improve the economy of this country. I believe you will be supportive and carry out the duty of your office without fear or favour.â€
Responding, Vice President Sambo said: â€œIt is with a deep sense of appreciation and the will to serve my fatherland, that I accepted this enormous responsibility of the office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am not unaware of the challenges posed by the dictates of this office and we shall surmount such challenges, Allah willing.
â€œI believe that my choice to occupy this office by Mr. President is hinged on the belief that I will bring my wealth of experience garnered over the years in the private as well as the public sector, to bear in the discharge of my duties and actualization of Mr. Presidentâ€™s lofty programmes for our dear country.â€