FG consults US, Kenya to institutionalise presidential transition programmes

Amidst preparations for the inauguration of the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on May 29th, the Federal Government is mulling specific legislation to guide future presidential transition programmes in Nigeria.

To this end, it is looking to the United States and Kenya to draw relevant lessons in line with international best practices.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, gave the indications on Thursday while rolling out planned activities for the presidential inauguration.

He revealed that invitations have been sent out to world leaders to grace the inauguration ceremony. He was, however, silent on specific presidents and world leaders that would be honouring the event billed to hold at Eagle Square, Abuja.

Mustapha said: “In furtherance of discharging its functions, the Presidential Transition Committee, PTC, interfaced with leading democratic nations, including the United States of America and the Republic of Kenya, as part of its learning efforts to pick up useful lessons in line with international best practices.

“It is important to also state that these countries have specific legislation on presidential transition, some of which dates back to 1963. It is our expectation that specific legislation on presidential transition in Nigeria will be passed soon.”

Mustapha further disclosed that the PTC settled on “Nigeria: Better Together” as the theme for the 2023 transition, noting that it is historically significant to this great nation and the international community, particularly Africa, because of the democratic values and lessons in nationhood.

The SGF also seized the opportunity to assure Nigerians and the global community that President Muhammadu Buhari remains committed to the seamless transfer of power to the President-elect.

Tinubu will go down in history as the 16th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 29.

Speaking further, Mustapha said: “In a demonstration of this commitment, the President has directed all relevant government institutions to cooperate with and support the transition process through engagement with the President-elect’s team.”

He went ahead to unveil the schedule of activities marking the 2023 Presidential Inauguration.

According to the line-up, a Regimental Dinner in honour of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, at the Officers Mess on Tuesday is scheduled for May 23, at 7 pm, while a Valedictory Federal Executive Council Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 24, at the Council Chambers, Presidential Villa.

Thursday, May 25, is set aside for the Investiture of the President-elect and Vice-President-elect with the national honours of Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR) and Grand Commander of Order of the Niger (GCON) respectively, and the handover of transition documents. This will take place at the State House Conference Centre by 10 am.

Public lecture and Juma’at prayer are scheduled for Friday, May 26, at the National Mosque by 10 am and 1:30 pm respectively.

An inauguration lecture on the topic, “Deepening Democracy for Integration and Development” by Uhuru M. Kenyatta, former President of Kenya, will hold at the International Conference Centre, on Saturday, May 27, at 10 am.

Parade and Children’s Party, respectively, at Old Parade Ground by 10:00 am and at State House Conference Centre at 2 pm in commemoration of Children’s Day.

The programmes for Sunday, May 28 include an inter-denominational church service, at the National Christian Centre at 10 am, and an inauguration dinner/gala night at the State House Conference Centre by 7 pm.

Monday, May 29, the day of the inauguration, will feature the inauguration parade and swearing-in of the new President at the Eagle Square, CBD, by 10 am.

This will be followed by a post-inauguration luncheon at the State House Banquet Hall by 1:30 pm, an event strictly for Mr President and invited presidents, heads of government, and other invited guests.

According to Boss Mustapha: “All events will be broadcast live on all major stations and streamed on various social media platforms. Detailed information, including accreditation arrangements, would be provided by the Media and Publicity Sub-Committee.

“So far, invitations have been sent to the presidents and heads of government as well as heads of international organisations. We are also glad to report that many of these invitees have confirmed attendance in person.”

Despite these preparations, Tinubu is believed to be in Europe. He is believed to be developing his administration blueprint, including drawing up his cabinet lists and other key appointees, with the intention of kick-starting governance once sworn in on May 29th.

DAILY POST recalls that Buhari, who is billed to hand over the baton of leadership to Tinubu, just returned from the UK after attending the coronation of King Charles III.

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