The Federal Government rolls out the details for President Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration and Democracy Day celebration.
Activities for the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari for the second term began in Abuja Monday with a press conference addressed by Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, at the National Press Centre, Abuja. He reiterated his briefing at the State House on Monday, May 13, that the inauguration will be low key as most of the activities have been shifted to June 12, which is now Nigeria’s new Democracy Day in honour of late Moshood Abiola who was martyred while pursuing his mandate after winning the June 12, 1993, presidential election.
President Buhari last year declared June 12 as Democracy Day and a national holiday with the official commencement as June 2019. The National Assembly last week passed a bill recognizing same. However, by the 1999 Constitution Buhari’s first tenure ends on May 29. This means that should the inauguration be shifted to June 12, Nigeria may be legally without a president for about two weeks, which will leave the Bukola Saraki, Senate President, as the head of state in that vacuum.
To save Nigeria the double expenses, the Federal Executive Council decided, at its meeting on Wednesday, May 8, to have a low-key presidential inauguration on May 29, and defer the celebration that comes with it to the June 12 Democracy Day. Mohammed said that “the country can ill-afford two major celebrations within a two-week interval.”
All the pomp and pageantry that go with presidential inauguration, including the attendance of world leaders, will now be done on June 12. On the announced security threats by government, Mohammed assured that Nigeria is safe for the activities. As to the cost of the event, he declined to answer questions by journalists on that and also avoided an explanation of why there is no budget available to the public. He gave the details of the events that have been slated for both the inauguration and the Democracy Day as follows: Presidential Inauguration on May 29th 201.
Activities leading to the inauguration of Mr. President officially kick off Monday, May 20th, with the press conference. This will be followed on Tuesday, May 21st, by the commencement of a three-day National Youth Entrepreneurship Empowerment Summit at the International Conference Centre (ICC) here in Abuja.
Federal Executive Council Valedictory Session will be held at the Council Chambers, State House, Abuja, on Wednesday, May 22nd; a Special Jumat Lecture and prayer will be held on Friday, May 24th at the National Mosque; the First Lady’s interaction with women is slated for the Old Chamber at the State House on Saturday, May 25th while a special Interdenominational Church Service is slated for Sunday, May 26th at the National Christian Centre.
On Monday, May 27th, the President will give a Children’s Day broadcast, to be followed later in the day by a Children’s Variety Party. The swearing in of the President and the Vice President is slated for Wednesday, May 29th at the Eagle Square, to be followed by a State Banquet at the State House in the evening of the same day.
2019 Democracy Day Celebration (7-12th June 2019). The events celebrating June 12 as Democracy Day will kick off on Friday, June 7th with a Historical Exhibition in Arts, Pictures and Immersive Environment and run through June 12th. The event is slated to hold at the ICC.
It will be followed on Sunday, June 9th by a Youth Concert, Creative Industry and Entertainment Night also at the ICC. On Monday, June 10th, there will be a Secondary Schools Exhibition/Panel Discussion at the ICC, and Tuesday, June 11th will feature three events: the PMB Oratorical Contest at the ICC, an Anti-corruption Summit at the Transcorp Hilton and a First Lady’s Commissioning Programme in Yola, Adamawa. Wednesday, June 12th will start off with a parade at the Eagle Square, and the Democracy Day program will wrap up with a Dinner and Gala Night at the State House Conference Centre.