Inauguration Countdown in Abuja -FCTReporters
With barely seven days to the May 29th date for the inauguration of a new government in Nigeria, Abuja, the nation’s capital is witnessing improved security particularly in the city center where security checks have been heightened.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, had last Thursday, assured that adequate arrangements have been made for the safety and security of all people throughout the inauguration period.
Mustapha, who also serves as the Presidential Transition Council Chairman, had at a press briefing on activities lined up for the swearing-in ceremony, announced that invited presidents, heads of governments and international organisations heads have confirmed their attendance to grace the events.
The Office of the Head of Service of the Federation had announced that access roads to Phases 1,11,11 of the Federal Secretariat Complexes and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office will be restricted from 2:00 pm on Friday, 26th May 2023, to Monday, May 29th for the inauguration/swearing in of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as the 16th President of Nigeria.
However, The Abuja Inquirer notes that most roads have either being cordoned off or have stop and search in the city.
Our correspondent learnt from a security source that the Canine Unit of the police was in full force as well as the explosive and ordnance department, EOD.
The Eagle Square has been witnessing facelift ahead of the event. Recall that the square had been in contention in April, when the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, accused the federal government of refusing their request to use the venue for the 2023 Workers Day celebrations, for reasons bordering on the preparations of the venue for the May 29th presidential inauguration.
However, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, said he contacted his colleague, the FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, who blamed the development on some overzealous officials acting without his authority.
While improved security is expected for a presidential inauguration, some believe the heightened security measures for the swearing-in ceremony may not be unconnected to the series of litigations against the inauguration of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, on May 29, 2023.
Investigation by our correspondent also shows that most hotels were already fully booked. The situation has not being helped with the intrigues behind the race for the principal officers of the National Assembly.
Most of the members and senators-elect have been quartered by different aspirants as well as their supporters and lobbyists.
A hotelier, who asked not to be named, told this newspaper that business could not have been any better than now, also noting that with availability of fuel and slight improvement in electricity supply there are few things to complain about.
Also, a visit to the popular UTC, the hub of printing in Abuja, our correspondent said business was booming as she observed hundreds of different souvenirs made up of T-shirts, fez caps, books, bags, and other items on display.
“We have been working overtime. You can see the thousands of different gift items we are branding for people coming into office. Mostly are from their supporters,” an artisan, Okey, said amidst smiles.
Meanwhile, the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, has also listed a nine-point agenda for the incoming president, governors, and members of the 10th National Assembly.
Primate of the Anglican Church, Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, in his presidential address delivered during the first session of the 12th synod of Abuja Diocese, urged the incoming administrations to be magnanimous in victory and see their victory as “a call to duty and an opportunity to make a difference in the service of God and humanity.”
The clergy, while congratulating the President-elect, the incoming governors, and members of the 10th National Assembly for their victory in the polls, urge them to give due diligence to the security of lives and property, education, healthcare, the economy, the rule of law and law enforcement, all-inclusive government, addressing infrastructural neglect, the completion and operation of critical industries, and the building of a united and prosperous nation.
“We have great apprehension over the rising inflation, debt servicing burden, fuel subsidy and fear for the future of Nigeria. Alleviating the suffering of the masses should be the priority of the government, hence the Church demands adequate provision of education, economic empowerment and job creation/employment opportunities for the teeming youths and citizens,” he stated.