Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, has promised Nigerians that a formal transfer of power to the elected administration on May 29 will not be interrupted by a flurry of lawsuits disputing the conduct of the February 25 presidential election.
Mustapha provided the assurance to the media during the fifth meeting of the Presidential Transition Council (PTC) in Abuja on Tuesday.
The SGF, who is also the head of the PTC, stated that the formal transfer of power to the newly elected government on May 29 was a constitutional matter and that all petitions regarding the conduct of the election, whether resolved or unresolved, would not impede the transfer.
“President Muhammadu Buhari will not remain in office through May 29, when he would transfer over control to the INEC-declared successor.” The legal processes will continue, and it has always been possible to accommodate the decisions of individuals who are aggrieved, even after the inauguration.
“This is not the first time we have held an election or had people accept office, nor is it the first time litigation has continued. “Thus, the proceedings pending before the electoral tribunal will continue unabated until the final determination, and the parties may appeal to the Supreme Court if they are dissatisfied with every stage of the lawsuit,” Mustapha explained.
He stated that the two individuals selected by President-elect Bola Tinubu to the PTC, Kebbi State Governor, Senator Atiku Bagudu, and Mr. Olawale Edun, have actively joined the council, which was inaugurated on February 14, 2023.
In addition, the president-elect has been asked to nominate 13 individuals to work across the 13 subcommittees that have been working around the clock to ensure that all inauguration preparations are in place.
In his update, Mustapha also disclosed that the Facilities, Security, and Intelligence Committee, headed by the National Security Adviser (NSA), had completed the refurbishment of the offices for the President and Vice-President-elect, and that the full complement of security personnel from the Department of State Service and the Nigerian Police Force had been deployed to the President and Vice-President-elect.
In addition, protocol officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Intelligence Agency have been assigned to both the President and Vice President-Elect, and as part of the transition process, four members of the president-team elect’s will be joining the federal government delegation to the Spring meeting of the World bank.
The SGF stated that the PTC has been divided into three groups to facilitate a smooth transition process: the Inauguration Committee, the Transition Documents Committee, and the Facilities, Security, and Intelligence Committee.
The inauguration committee, led by the SGF, is responsible for organising the oath-taking ceremony and the inaugural parade, as well as determining the necessary logistics for the smooth execution of the inauguration events.
The Transition Documents Committee, chaired by the Head of the Federal Civil Service, is responsible for putting the administration’s policies, programmes, and projects into a compendium that focuses on the government’s nine key areas.
In addition, it is responsible for assuring the development of sectoral briefs and handover notes for the incoming administration.
The Facilities, Security, and Intelligence Committee is tasked with organising the necessary facilities and providing security for the President and Vice-President Elect; Provision of covert and overt security before, during, and after the 2023 Presidential Inauguration, including event venues, hotels, airports, entry points, roads, and general surveillance of FCT.