Ben Agande, Abuja.
President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo are to take the president elect and his, Muhammadu Buhari and Professor Yemi Osibajo on a tour of the Presidential Villa on the 28th of May, 2015 as part of the final activities
for the handing over ceremony.
Governors of Niger and Benue state, Babangida Aliyu and Gabriel Suswam who addressed state House after yesterday’s National Council of state meeting said the council also approved a template for subsequent handover and take over.
Governor Aliyu said that the Council also ratified the programme of both the transition committees of the outgoing government of President Goodluck Jonathan and the incoming administration of president elect, Major General Muhammadu Buhari for final transmission of power on May 29.
According to him, yesterday’s meeting was a valedictory session for President jonathan.
He said that that 28th May remains the handover of notes to the incoming government at a dinner while 29th is the inauguration proper.
Governor Aliyu said there will also be a lunch and a gala night on the same day of the inauguration.
Explaining further on the issue of the handover notes on May 28, governor Aliyu said that “it is only a technicality. One is inauguration, the formality of the new president taking over. Technically, the 29th is for the man taking over.”
He said “For handing over documents, you don’t wait until that 29th because after the inauguration, the transition committee may continue. If you recall, when President Jonathan came on board, he inaugurated the Genetal Danjuma’s committee to look at all the documents that were handed over to them and make recommendations. So it is a continuous thing.”
“The handing over of documents from the outgoing President to the incoming President will take place on the 28th and the inauguration on the 29.
“Invitations have been sent out to all the presidents of African countries including presidents and prime ministers of the G8, multilateral heads like the United Nations, Commonwealth, ECOWAS, African Union. We expect a beautiful ceremony on the 29th.
“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 added.
In his remark, Governor Suswan noted that during the meeting, council decided that going forward, there should be proper templates in which all transition committees must follow on handover to new administrations.
“The 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.
“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.”
During the council meeting, the National Security Adviser Colonel Sambo Dasuki also briefed members on the security situations in the country among which was the issue of Boko Haram and the level of successes recorded so far by security forces.
Suswan who briefed on the security issue said, the present administration has handled the insecurity in the north east to a level that would give less problem to the incoming government.
He said ” the summary of what the NSA presented to council was to say that Nigeria is now better prepared than it was three years back in fighting any form of insurgency because outside the immediate surrounding countries, the international community have also keyed in to giive serious assistance.
“So moving forward is not going to be like what happened before where these insurgents had a fiilled day where our military where put in a bad light. Our military is well equipped now, there is better training for them to cope with terrorism. Terrorism was alien to this country and so once it came, we needed to counter the terrorists.
“That has been done and so Nigeria is fully ready as a country to fight any insurgency moving forward. But that the incoming administration will pick up from the solid foundation that has been laid in addressing security challenges, there is a new ways of doing things and he believes that the incoming administration will have less problems than the outgoing administration.”
According to the Benue State governor, “So Nigerians should have confidence that insurgency will soon be a thing of the past and he assured Council of State that before May 29th at least, the enclaves which is Sambisa forest will be properly combed and anihiliated and that will at least put paid to the incessant gorrila style attacked that have been raging in the past.”
Council also deliberated on the of Fulani herds men which he noted needs to looked into the incoming administration.
“There is a document that states what needs to be done that will reduce the clashes which has resulted to a number of IDPS in places like Niger, Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa. These are places you have incessant clashes between the herdsmen and farmers. Suswan noted.
Yesterday’s meeting was attended by all living former heads of state and most state governors or their representatives.
President Elect, Muhammadu Buhari was also attending the National Council of state meeting for the second time in three months after a long spell of absence.
He attended the council of state meeting late january where it was decided that the elections be rescheduled to allow the military enough time to reclaim some areas lost to Boko Haram in the North East.
Yesterday’s meeing was the first since Buhari defeated president Jonathan in the March Presidential elections.
Former presidents and heads of state in attendance at tuesday’s meeting are, Shehu Shagari, Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalam Abubakar and Ernest Shonekan.
The National Council of state comprises the President, former presidents, former chief Justices of the Federation, state governors, the attorney General of the federation and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory