Zuma, Kerry, Others Attend Buhari’s Inauguration, Today

Outgoing President, Goodluck Jonathan submitting his handover notes to President-elect, Muhammdu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja yesterday
Outgoing President, Goodluck Jonathan submitting his handover notes to President-elect, Muhammdu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja yesterday

Heads of state, including South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, US Secretary of State John Kerry,and Western dignitaries  are expected at today’s inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Prof Yemi Osinbajo as Nigeria’s new leaders. The ceremony beings starts at 9:00 am (0800 GMT) at the Eagles Square Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The 57-year-old out-going Jonathan, Buhari and his vice undertook a tour of the presidential villa, Aso Rock, in Abuja, before  Goodluck Jonathan submitted his formal handover notes to Buhari.Buhari, 72, defeated Jonathan in March 28 elections — the first time in Nigeria’s history that an opposition candidate had beaten a sitting president.
He takes over as head of Africa’s most populous nation, top economy and leading oil producer as it limps back to normality after fuel shortages that brought the country to a near standstill.Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) accused Jonathan’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of orchestrating the fuel crisis to scupper the transition.But Jonathan told him:
“Our administration has done its best to intervene robustly and impact positively on key aspects of our national life.”Expectations are high, some say too high, that Buhari can fix Nigeria, with corruption seemingly entrenched in public life and decades of mismanagement.
The enormity of his task includes not just preventing further fuel supply problems but bringing an end to the Boko Haram insurgency, which has claimed at least 15,000 lives since 2009.”Victory is now in sight and within our reach,” said Jonathan, referring to a military offensive that has driven out the Islamists from captured towns and territory in the northeast.
”However, the cost in blood of citizens and heroes and the diversion of national treasures from urgent needs for development have been very high.”Hundreds of kidnapped women and children have been freed in recent weeks and Jonathan said it was his “sincere hope” that 219 schoolgirls held since April last year would soon be rescued.
Roads have been closed around the Eagle Square inauguration venue, where dozens of international flags have been hoisted alongside the Nigerian green and white triband and soldiers patrolled.
The venue was surrounded by barbed wire and giant posters of Buhari had been hung, alongside vice-president-elect Osinbajo, as workers rolled out red carpets and arranged flowers.Nigeria’s federal police chief Solomon Arase said the security measures were imposed “to ward off possible plans by insurgents to carry out widespread violence and coordinated attacks”.
Jonathan formally submitted his handover notes to President elect Muhammadu Buhari.yesterday at the council chamber of the State House, Abuja.
He also presented a copy of the report of the National Conference which held in 2014, to President. Buhari.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday said that outgoing President, Goodluck Jonathan, could have made things difficult by refusing to accept the outcome of the election, but rather choose the path of honour.
Buhari said Jonathan’s decision to make the telephone call to him changed the course of Nigeria’s history and earned him a place in the country’s history.
Speaking shortly after receiving the handover notes from. Jonathan, Buhari said “Since the telephone call you made you have changed the course of Nigeria’s political history”.
“For that you have earned yourself a place in our history, for stabilising this system of multiparty democracy system and you have earned the respect of not only Nigerians but world leaders,” the president elect said.
“All the leaders that spoke to me and congratulated us for arriving at the point we arrived, mentioned this and I could sense relief in their voices that Nigeria has made it after all and this is largely owed to a situation.
“If you had attempted to make things difficult, you could have made things difficult and that would have been at the expense of lives of poor Nigerians, but you choose the part of honour and may God help all of us. Thank you very much, your Excellency,” Buhari said.
The president elect, however, said he could not comment on the handover notes handed him by outgoing President Jonathan until he reads and digest them.
Jonathan, who had earlier read a speech reeling out some of the achievements of his administration, handed over an executive summary of the hand over notes to  Buhari, alongside the report of the national conference held in 2014.
Presenting the second document, Jonathan noted that while the handover notes will help the incoming government to navigate, the confab report will help the incoming government smoothen grey areas in the polity.
“This will give you a mission statement of the commitment of this government for the past five years and the directions we are going that will help you to navigate,” Jonathan said.