Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital, and 28 state capitals are agog with activities ahead of Monday’s inauguration of the president-elect, as well as 28 state chief executives.
There is also a security beef-up to prevent any breakdown of law and order.
Recall that Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) emerged victorious during the February 25 presidential polls while 28 governors were elected on March 18.
There would be no inauguration in eight of the 36 states, namely, Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Osun and Ondo because their governorship elections are off-season due to litigations and court judgements.
The 28 states where new governors will be inaugurated tomorrow are Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, and Delta.
Others are Ebonyi, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara states.
Sixteen of the governors are of the All Progressives Congress (APC), including Uba Sani (Kaduna), Bassey Otu (Cross River), Mohammed Bago (Niger), Umar Namadi (Jigawa), Ahmed Aliyu (Sokoto), Dikko Radda (Katsina), Hyacinth Alia (Benue), Francis Nwifuru (Ebonyi), Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), Mai Mala Buni (Yobe), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq (Kwara), Babagana Zulum (Borno) and Umar Namadi (Jigawa).
Similarly, 10 chief executives on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will take charge. They are Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Kefas Agbu (Taraba), Caleb Mutfwang (Plateau), Peter Mbah (Enugu), Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom), Dauda Lawal (Zamfara), Siminialayi Fubara (Rivers), Sheriff Oborevwori (Delta) and Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa).
While Abba Kabir of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) will be sworn in as governor of Kano State, Alex Otti of the Labour Party (LP) will be inaugurated as the chief executive of Abia.
There would be brand new governors in 18 states, where the governors have served out their two terms. The states are Abia, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara.
All set for tomorrow’s inauguration in states
Situation reports from our correspondents indicate that all is set for the inauguration of the president-elect and governors-elect in the 28 states.
Reports shows that ahead of tomorrow’s exercise, security operatives have been placed on red alert to abort any threat to the ceremonies.
Security operatives comprising soldiers and police could be seen patrolling around the Mabushi area of the Abuja metropolis towards the popular Julius Berger bus stop.
The mood in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is a mixture of thrills, frills and hard talks ahead of the exercise.
While the majority of the ruling APC members are in a celebratory mood over the inauguration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor, some opposition elements are not happy with the scheme of things.
There are protests for and against Tinubu in Abuja, especially as the election petitions of the presidential candidates of the leading opposition PDP, Atiku Abubakar and Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi are still pending at the tribunal.
Although there are fears of possible breakdown of law and order during the inauguration, security is, however, beefed up around Eagle Square, the venue for Tinubu’s inauguration.
All the major roads around Eagle Square have been blocked by a heavy presence of stern-looking security operatives. This is especially as the Department of State Service (DSS) had earlier raised the alarm that some disgruntled elements in the polity were plotting to stop Tinubu’s inauguration to foist an interim government on the country.
Daily Trust on Sunday reports that some Nigerians, under the aegis of The Natives have vowed to keep vigil in the streets of Abuja until Tinubu is sworn in tomorrow.
They said the sacrifice had become necessary to frustrate plans by ‘some unscrupulous elements’ to allegedly form a parallel government.
Addressing newsmen during a rally, the leader of the group, Olalekan Smart Edwards said, “We will resist that attempt and continue to keep vigil in the streets of Abuja until the winner of the election, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is sworn in on Monday.”
We learnt that virtually all the hotels in Abuja have been booked by those attending the inauguration ahead of time.
Red cap business booms in Kano
In Kano, it was observed that supporters of the governor-elect and members of the Kwankwasiyya Movement have been in top gear in their preparations for the inauguration. The business of the red cap, the symbol of the Kwankwasiyya Movement, is booming in the state.
This is even as the incoming administration’s gubernatorial transition committee said it had decided to keep the activities for the handover on low-key.
Our correspondent observed that members of the new administration’s planning committee have been visiting the Sani Abacha Stadium, the venue of the inauguration ceremony since last Monday while putting finishing touches to their preparations.
Also, tailors across the state have been working to deliver on inauguration attires, with as many as three different “uniforms” (aso ebi) already being circulated for the event.
When our correspondent visited the Fagge area, it was overcrowded, with people struggling to get their cloths and caps from tailors.
Some of the tailors said they had witnessed a high turnout of customers akin to what used to be during the Sallah period.
It was also observed that the news of the invitation of the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Muhammadu II, to grace the inauguration, has sent supporters of the deposed emir into a celebratory mood.
In Calabar, the Cross River State capital, there has been flurry of activities by workers and contractors at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar, the venue of the handover of power ceremony.
Residents are said to be generally happy that Ayade is to be replaced by Prince Bassey Otu from the southern senatorial district, believed to be well loved and popular.
His kinsmen, the Efik in particular, have been celebrating since he got his certificate of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In Kaduna, our correspondent reports that the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, where the governor will reside, is wearing a fresh look ahead of the inauguration.
Also, significant progress has been made on the two major roads leading to the Government House with the completion and painting works concluded.
Governor Nasir el-Rufai recently invited dignitaries to commission various projects constructed throughout the metropolis to beautify the city ahead of handover.
Meanwhile, the Bauchi State police command has warned non-state actors, aggrieved groups or individuals to pursue redress through due process and the rule of law as law enforcement agencies will not hesitate to quell any confrontation or act of insecurity during tomorrow’s gubernatorial inauguration in the state. To this end, the command said it had mobilised operational and human resources to establish a robust security arrangement.
The spokesperson of the command, SP Ahmed Wakil, said adequate personnel had been assigned to safeguard the Government House/Very Important Persons lodges, provide security in and around the venue of the inauguration, the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, monitor the state’s borders and oversee entry and exit points, as well as critical government installations.
Wakil said the ceremony had received special attention as the commissioner of police directed all area commanders, tactical commanders, divisional police officers, heads of departments and other sister security agencies to reinforce the inauguration venue with operational equipment.
Similarly, the Niger State police command said it would deploy a massive number of personnel at the venue of the governorship inauguration and other strategic locations across the state capital to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
The command’s public relations officer, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, in a statement warned miscreants to stay away from the Trade Fair Complex, the venue of the inauguration.
The warning came on the heels of fear in some quarters that miscreants may take advantage of the event to cause a breakdown of law and a repeat of a 2015 incident, where the outgoing governor was stoned.
By Fidelis Mac-Leva, Saawua Terzungwe & Baba Martins (Abuja), Lubabatu I. Garba (Kano), Eyo Charles (Calabar), Mohammed Yaba (Kaduna) & Abubakar Akote (Minna)