Global Leaders to Converge in Nigeria for Bola Tinubu Presidential Inauguration

Global Leaders to Converge in Nigeria for Bola Tinubu's Presidential Inauguration

The inauguration of Bola Tinubu, Nigeria’s President-elect, is slated to take place on May 29, and the event is garnering global attention. An impressive roster of around 65 international dignitaries, encompassing Heads of State, has been extended invitations to attend this momentous occasion. Bola Tinubu, stepping into his role as the 16th President of Nigeria, will mark the nation’s seventh transfer of power.

Notable attendees slated to grace the event include former presidents, ambassadors, leaders of international institutions, and distinguished Nigerians. Representatives from foreign governments and agencies will also be present. The inauguration agenda is set to commence this Thursday with the investiture ceremony of Tinubu as the Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic, and Vice-President-elect, Kashim Shettima, as the Grand Commander of Order of the Niger.

A senior official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed to The PUNCH that many African leaders have expressed interest in attending the inauguration. Set to take place at Eagle Square in Abuja, he said, “We have 54 countries in Africa and most of them have been invited to the inauguration; so, we don’t expect less than 65 world leaders from Africa, Europe, and America at the event.”

Among the countries expected to send representatives are Nigeria’s traditional allies, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, China, Germany, Finland, Jamaica, Japan, Israel, Turkey, and others, to participate in this high-profile event.

Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, informed journalists in Abuja that an impressive array of world leaders are expected to attend the ceremony. This announcement came as the commencement of transition activities to the incoming administration began.

The build-up to the inauguration of the former Lagos State governor is picking up momentum, amidst ongoing legal disputes initiated by the standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, and his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi, in an attempt to invalidate Tinubu’s electoral victory. These disputes are presently being adjudicated in the Presidential Election Petitions Court (PEPC).

The PEPC has postponed further proceedings in Atiku’s petition until today to allow for additional pre-hearing sessions and to consider pending applications filed by the respondents. The presiding judge, Justice Haruna Tsammani, has instructed the parties to reach an agreement on the modalities to be adopted. The court is set to decide on the number of witnesses allowed for each party, the time allocated to them, and the duration of cross-examination.

Unveiling the inauguration programs, Mustapha, who also serves as the Chairman of the Presidential Transition Council, revealed that Tinubu and the Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, will be honored with the Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic and Grand Commander of Order of the Niger, respectively, on May 25.

He further disclosed that transition documents will be handed over to Bola Tinubu and Shettima on the same day, and that the former president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, is scheduled to deliver the inauguration lecture titled ‘Deepening Democracy for Integration and Development’ on May 27.

The inauguration week will also feature a series of events, including the Regimental Dinner in honor of the Commander-in-Chief at the Armed Forces Officers Mess, Valedictory Federal Executive Council Meeting at the Council Chambers inside the Presidential Villa, Public Lecture and Juma’at prayer at the National Mosque, Children’s Day Parade and Party, and an Inter-denominational Church Service at the National Christian Centre. An Inauguration Dinner/Gala Night at the State House Conference Centre, the swearing-in of the president-elect and vice president-elect, and a post-inauguration luncheon for the President with his colleague Presidents, Heads of Government and guests at the State House Banquet Hall will also be held.

Mustapha revealed that many world leaders have expressed interest in attending the event, but did not disclose the identities of these leaders due to diplomatic protocol. He affirmed that despite the ongoing legal battles, the inauguration would go ahead as planned, in line with the Nigerian Constitution and Electoral Act. He said, “With or without litigation, the handover will be held on May 29. The Constitution and Electoral Act are clear on this.”

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