By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA—The inauguration of the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari would be low key, the chairman, All Progressives Congress, APC Transition Committee Chairman, Chief Timipre Sylva said, yesterday. Speaking to journalists in Abuja, Sylva cited the dwindling economy as the reason for the decision.
Though he was not categorical about the number of Heads of State anticipated to grace the occasion on May 29, Sylva, however, said that a number of them would come. He said: “There are no challenges, we are planning very well and I think we are going to give Nigerians a compact inauguration.
“We are not going to be flamboyant. We think that this country cannot afford a flamboyant ceremony this time because the economy is not in good shape right now. So we are actually planning to give Nigerians a sanitized and compact event which will be a source of pride to Nigerians.
“We have not gotten all the confirmations but we have already gotten from some countries. He also dismissed the insinuation that there may be rift between the incoming and the outgoing government. “There is no problem, it is just politics. What happened is that they were on the wrong side and they lost.
We are on the right side and we won. And so, the government will have to continue and just like we were there when they were governing, they also have to be there when we are governing the country,” he said. On the allegation that he was carrying a corruption baggage and as such was not qualified to be in Buhari’s cabinet, Sylva, who was also the former governor of Bayelsa State, expressed shock that his detractors had already convicted him before the courts would give their judgment on the matter.
He said he was innocent of all the charges, believing that the courts would eventually quash the charges. “I will be shocked to hear that. Maybe, those peddling the allegation are the courts and they have already convicted me. We have courts in the land and you know that PDP is the party of impunity. Today if I pick you up and I charge you to court on charges of corruption, does that convict you? It is only the court that can convict you and that is why we have rule of law.
“A situation where people just pick you up and say you’re corrupt just to persecute you, does not augur well for our democracy. I have been vindicated politically and I will be vindicated by the court also because I ran the best government in Bayelsa state, a better government than what the outgoing President ran in Bayelsa state. “I can assure you that I am going to come out clean at the end of the day from the charges against me.”