The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has made clarifications on the comments made by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, about the President’s inauguration on May 29, being a low-key ceremony.
During an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, Mr Shehu explained that while May 29th remains significant as the inauguration day, all ceremonies associated with the inauguration have been deferred to June 12.
“We want the world to see June 12 as this country’s most important (day) as far as democracy is concerned,” he said.
He further explained that the May 29 inauguration will still be marked because according to the Constitution, the four-year term officially ends on the 29th.
“Let me say emphatically, it is important that the President and the governors are being inaugurated on the 29th.
“Constitutionally, that must take place because their four-year term (2015-2019), expires on the 29th.
“However, the President will be swearing an oath, taking the oath of office as would the governors be doing, but the big ceremonies associated with the inauguration have been deferred to June 12, in order that we empower, we activate this day in a big way”.
On the venue of the event, he noted that it would take place at the Eagles Square, Abuja and the missions in the country, embassies, and other key figures will be duly represented.
“Delegations will come but we are welcoming them on June 12,” Shehu added.
Also speaking on the matter, a senior Advocate of Nigeria Adetokunbo Kayode, explained that it is economical to avoid multiple ceremonies and public holidays.
He said, “I think that prudence actually determines that it is done in a low-key fashion because of the ceremony that will come on June 12, so I think it’s okay.
“Holidays cost money, secondly, ceremonies cost money so it may be that the President wants to be very circumspect about how much he spends on these ceremonies”.
The Information Minister had during a press conference earlier today, explained that the country cannot afford two major celebrations within a two-week interval.
He noted that details of the events slated for the two ceremonies will be unveiled at a world press conference on May 20, 2019, in Abuja.