The Federal Government has dismissed the insinuation that the process of handing over power by the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari to the president-elect, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu on May 29, might not be possible, saying the president would not spend extra day in office.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, made this disclosure on Tuesday in Abuja while explaing the activities of the Presidential Transition Council.
He reassured Nigerians that the Transition process is ongoing and all efforts are being put in place to ensure that it is smooth and on May 29th, there would be a peaceful and formal transfer of power to the new President.
Boss Mustapha disclosed that after the declaration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the president-elect, the PTC requested him to nominate his representatives on the council as provided in the Executive Order.
He noted that the president-elect nominated Atiku Bagudu, the Governor of Kebbi state and Chief Olawale Edun both of whom have since been actively involved in the transition proces.
He also revealed that all security architectures have been coordinated including Defence House, ready for the president-elect to move in and that security personnel of the Department of State Service and the Nigerian Police Force have also been deployed to the President and Vice-president-elect.
Commenting on the insinuation that the May 29 handover, would not hold, SGF who is the Chairman of the Presidential Transition Council noted that all security measures are on ground checkmate all those planning to frustrate the transition procesd, noting anyone not satisfied with the process of the election should approach court for redress.
He said, “Transition process is on course and by the Grace of God, there will be a formal handover on May 29. It is a constitutional matter and all litigations whether resolved or unresolved would not in any way stop the formal transfer of power.
“President Buhari is not spending a day extra after May 29 to handover to whoever that had been declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The court processes would continue and whatever determination of those cases even after the swearing-in, has always been accommodated. It is not the first time we are doing elections, this is not the first time people have assumed offices and litigations continued.
“The matters before the Election Tribunal will continue unabetted until the final determination may be at the Supreme Court and parties involved will have to be satisfied with judgement at every level of the litigations.
“We are doing everything to ensure that the process of the transition is not truncated. The Federal Government had made a statement to that effect. The security and intelligence sub-committee of the Presidential Transition Council will do everything to ensure that nothing happens to truncate the peaceful transition process,” SGF said.
He stated further that Nigerians are very law-abiding people and that the best approach was to allow the court of law to give verdict on the matters.
He pointed out that the Presidential Transition Council which was inaugurated on 14th February 2023 is made up of 24 members including two persons from the president-elect’s team and that since it had been constituted, the Council has met four times with the 5th holding on Tuesday.
He said, “to ensure a smooth transition process and make the work more efficient, the PTC broke into 3 committees.
“The first of these is Inauguration Committee which is responsible for organizing the swearing–in and the inaugural parade; working out the details of programmes and other logistics necessary for the successful inauguration ceremonies.
“This committee is headed by the SGF with 15 members and is working through 13 sub-committees to facilitate effective planning and execution of the Inauguration activities.
“These sub-committees are; Media and Publicity; Church Service; Juma’at Service; Protocol and Invitations; Transport and Logistics; The Inauguration Lecture; Ceremonial Parade; Venues and Swearing in; Medical; Inauguration Dinner/Gala Night; Post Inauguration Luncheon; Accommodation and Children’s Day Celebration.
“The President-Elect has also been requested to nominate 13 persons that will work across the 13 sub-committees. The sub-committees have been working round the clock to ensure that all preparations are in place for a smooth inauguration ceremony.
“The second committee is the Transition Documents Committee which is headed by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation. The committee is responsible for compiling all policies, programmes and projects of this administration in the form of a compendium that focuses on this government’s nine (9) priority areas. It is also in charge of ensuring the preparation of sectoral briefs and handover notes of the current administration for the incoming administration. The Committee is working assiduously to finalize the compilation of these documents.
“The third committee is the Facilities, Security and Intelligence Committee. The duty of this committee is to organise necessary facilities, including furnished office and personnel for the President-and Vice-President-Elect and their transition team; Provision of security for the President and Vice-President Elect; Provision of covert and overt security before, during and after the 2023 Presidential Inauguration including venues of events, hotels, airports, entry points, roads and general surveillance of FCT. This committee is headed by the National Security Adviser (NSA).
“The Committee has been active and the refurbishment of offices for the President and Vice-President Elect has been completed.
“The facility at the Defence House is ready. Security personnel of the Department of State Service and the Nigerian Police Force have also been deployed to the President and Vice President-elect.
“Protocol officers have also been assigned to both the President and Vice President-elect from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Intelligence Agency.
“As part of the Transition, four members of the President-Elect’s team will be joining the Federal Government delegation to the Spring meeting of the World bank.
“The Transition process is on course and all efforts are being made to ensure that it is smooth and on May 29th, there would be a peaceful formal transfer of power to the new President,” SGF said.