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Jonathan Begins Final Journey To Hand Over

Tony Ailemen

The event for May 29th hand over to the incoming administration finally kicked off weekend, with Juma’at prayers at the National Mosque, Abuja

Nigeria’s historical election and the subsequent decision by out going President Goodluck Jonathan to concede defeat has given rise to a smooth transition.

Vice President Namadi Sambo presided over the Muslim prayers last Friday, an event that kick started the weeklong activities that will culminate in the swearing in of the President elect, Muhammadu Buhari on May 29th.

The President Jonathan moved his belongings out of the Presidential Villa, after the family had their thanksgiving at the Aso Chapel Church, last Sunday.

Yesterday, President Jonathan also had his final outing at the National Christian Center as President of Nigeria where he presided over the national prayers as part of the programme to usher in the new administration.

The President will however be leaving behind, fond memories of his administration as his reign was an eventful one, touching the lives of many Nigerians.He will however, also be remembered for presiding over one of the most turbulent administration in Nigeria’s history after that of former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon.

His administration was also one of the most heavily criticized by some armchair critics who to say the least exhibited high degree of ignorance

The emergence of the social media and its strong influence amongst Nigerians did not help matters.

For those who had the opportunity to come close to the President, Jonathan’s passion for the development of Nigeria is also unprecedented, as he did all he could to print his name in gold in the annals of Nigerian history

These can be seen in the various projects he initiated and executed during his reign

Perhaps on the low side, the Boko Haram insurgency casted dark clouds over his efforts but despite these, not a few Nigerians including former President Ibrahim Babangida attested to the fact that President Jonathan meant well for the country.

As the saying goes, however, what ever has a beginning must also have an end. So, following the successful conclusion of the elections, all is now set for a smooth hand over and a glorious exit by the man who has indeed made history in Nigeria. Already, the transition programme which has been approved by the Federal Executive Council is expected to witness other activities such as hand over of the President’s notes to General Buhari on the 28 of May.

The incoming President is also expected to be conducted round the Presidential Villa, on the 28th while a state dinner will round off the event on that same day.

Vice President Namadi Sambo who stood in for the President at the Juma’at service to kick start the event had on Friday prayed that Almighty Allah will give guidance to the incoming administration to continue with the progress and development of Nigeria which has already been put in place by the outgoing administration.

Speaking after the Special Prayer session at the National Mosque Abuja to mark the commencement of the week long activities for the Presidential Inauguration on May 29, Sambo enjoined all Nigerians to support the administration of Muhammadu Buhari to succeed.

He declared that “we have just performed the special Juma’at prayer for a successful inauguration of our incoming President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari.

“We prayed for peace and development of the country and for Allah’s guidance for the incoming administration to continue with the progress and development of Nigeria.”

President elect Muhammadu Buhari could not attend the event, but was represented by former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.

Atiku who also spoke for the support and cooperation of Nigerians to the President-elect, while also urging Nigerians to pray for a successful inauguration come May 29, 2015.

The Deputy Chief Imam of the National Mosque, Dr. Mohammed Kabir, whose Sermon was based on trust, called on leaders at all levels to discharge the responsibility reposed in them, with the utmost fear of Allah.

He stressed on the need for leaders not to betray the trust reposed in them by the people, as they would be asked to give account of all their actions by Allah on the day of judgment.

Speaking further the Imam said that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) admonished Muslims to always remember that everything entrusted in their care as leaders be it as family head, community leader, state governors and the president, every individual must account for the responsibility bestowed upon them.

The Special Juma’at prayers was attended by the Zamfara State Governor AbdulAziz Yari, FCT Minister Senator Bala Mohammed, Minister of State for Finance, Amb Bashir Yuguda and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro as well as members of the diplomat corps, military officers, royal fathers and other top government officials.

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