President Goodluck Jonathan will hand over the reigns of affairs of the country to the President-elect, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on May 28, about 24 hours before Buhari’s inauguration.
Minister of Information, Senator Patricia Akwashiki, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Wednesday at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by Jonathan.
Akwashiki said Jonathan would hand over to Buhari at a dinner on the eve of the May 29 Democracy Day.
She said, “By May 28, the President intends to have the formal handing over done at a dinner so that we can reserve May 29 for the incoming government.
“By May 28, we are expected to have concluded our own government and we are welcoming the incoming government.
“Also you know May 29 is our Democracy Day. So, we have activities lined up all through that week, showcasing all what we have achieved and all other things we do normally on our Democracy Day except that this year is special with the inauguration of our new President that is coming up on May 29.”
She added that the President had directed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies to prepare their handover notes and submit same to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim, on or before April 20.
She said it was Anyim’s responsibility to compile the notes which will form Jonathan’s handover document to his successor.
She further said while the valedictory FEC meeting would hold on May 20, everything that requires the President’s approval must be presented to him latest on May 13 so that the incoming government would not accuse him of rushing projects.
The minister added that Jonathan had directed MDAs to brief him on inherited projects and the ones initiated by his administration under their jurisdiction.
She said the briefings were expected to include the status of the projects and levels of implementation.
The minister added, “The President emphasised on the need for all MDAs to submit their handing over notes to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation by 20th of this month, that is next Monday. So we are going to be very busy this weekend putting our handing over notes together.
“The President also emphasised that he would require another little briefing from all MDAs to indicate inherited projects, how far they have been executed and initiated projects by his administration and the level of completion, whether completed, ongoing or abandoned.”
She said the present administration was doing everything possible to ensure smooth transition, adding that Vice President Namadi Sambo is heading the government’s transition committee while Anyim is heading the inauguration committee.
Akwashiki however said notwithstanding the transition programme, governance had not stopped in the country.
“That is not to say that governance has stopped, of course we are in government until the day the President-elect takes his oath of office,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke; and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, were among a few ministers who did not attend the Wednesday meeting.
The meeting was the first one held after the March 28 presidential election which Jonathan lost to Buhari.
Before the President arrived the venue, some ministers, especially the core politicians among them used the opportunity to review the polls and their performances in their various states.
They formed small groups to take stock zone-by-zone.
Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Jelili Adesiyan; Minister of State II, Foreign Affairs, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro; Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, Olajumoke Akinjide; and the Minister of State, Works, Dayo Adeyeye, were seen engrossed in discussion on the Peoples Democratic Party’s performance in the South West while awaiting Jonathan’s arrival at the venue.