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Handover Date: Council Of State Approves May 28

Council Of State Says Henceforth May 28 Will Be Handover Date While Swearing- In Holds On May 29 In A New Permanent Transition Template For Nigeria…As Arase’s Appointment Is Confirmed

Our Reporters

The National Council of State, yesterday, approved a detailed handover programme for the transition of power from President Goodluck Jonathan to General Muhammadu Buhari. According to the programme, the formal handover would hold on May 28 while the swearing-in, and other ceremonies, would hold on May 29. All documents prepared by the transition committee will be handed over to Buhari on May 28. According to the programme,President Jonathan will also on May 28, conduct his successor on a familiarization tour of the Presidential Villa.

Briefing State House Correspondents after a Valedictory Council of State meeting presided over by President Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, yesterday, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, who briefed alongside his Benue State counterpart, Gabriel Suswam, said Council took time to discuss the transition and inauguration committee noting that henceforth the new template would be followed for subsequent transitions. He noted that the template used for the transition process would become a permanent template. The governors also disclosed that all is now set for the inauguration as invitations have been sent to all African Leaders, leaders of the G8 and other multinational organizations. Aliyu also told journalists that Council also discussed the issue of keeping invited guests waiting, stating that “the invitees must not arrive before the inviter”.

The Council of State, which comprises all former heads of state, the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, governors, former and serving Chief Justices of Nigeria, is the highest advisory body to the President. Past presidents and heads of state at the meeting include Olusegun Obasanjo, the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and Chief Ernest Shonekan. State governors present at the meeting include Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Ramalan Yero (Kaduna), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), James Ngilari (Adamawa), Tanko Al- Makura (Nasarawa), Gabriel Suswam (Benue). Others were Martin Elechi (Ebonyi), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Jonah Jang (Plateau) Liyel Imoke (Cross River), and Acting governor of Taraba state.

Some states including Imo, Kano, Kogi, Yobe and Oyo were represented by their deputy governors. Senate President, David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and former Chief Justices of Nigeria including Muhammadu Uwais and Alfa Belgore, Idris Kutigi were also present at the meeting. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki and the Chief of Staff to the President, Jones Arogbofa were also at the meeting. Suswam, in his brief, told journalists that Council also discussed the security situation in the country as briefed by the NSA.

He said the NSA told Council that Nigeria is now more prepared than it was three years ago in fighting insurgency. He said the NSA noted that the incoming administration would pick up from what had been done so far, expressing belief that the incoming administration will have fewer problems. Issues of fuel scarcity and non payment of salaries also came up for discussion but was referred to the Economic Council, Suswam said. Meanwhile, the Police Council has confirmed Solomon Arase as substantive Inspector-General of Police.

Speaking after his confirmation, the new IGP said he had already put in place measures to deal with the nation’s security challenges. “I have an enforcement policy in place. Sixteen teams have moved out across the length and breadth of this country to ensure there is strict compliance to that order”, he said. He assured that the welfare of his men would top his agenda to ensure a properly motivated police force. “To my men, I will tell them that their welfare will be number one on my cardinal responsibilities. You don’t motivate a workforce except their welfare is paramount. I am going to ensure that their welfare is going to be put on the front burner. “To Nigerians, I know that their expectations are high but I can assure them that no Nigerian will suffer any injustice by my inaction or action”, he assured.

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