Today, the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari, commenced with the formality of taking the oath of office of President of Nigeria. Nigeria for 20 years now, has remained a democracy witnessing smooth transition of political power from one regime to another. Over this 20 years landmark in democratization efforts, today’s oath taking/inauguration stood entirely aloof against the backdrop of previous transitions.
Here are four shocking takeaways from today’s Presidential inauguration, to consider;
Today is the first time a Nigerian president is taking oath of office, without celebrating democracy day. Since 2003, May 29 has remained Nigeria’s democracy day, for the reason that in 1999, power returned to the elected president on May 29. Therefore, May 29 was subsequently adopted as Nigeria’s democracy day. This year, that reality has changed following the presidential proclamation of June 12 as democracy day and an executive bill to the National Assembly, which has been passed confirming June 12 as Nigeria’s democracy day. So today is inauguration day, while June 12 is democracy day.
President Buhari did not give any speech. Today’s inauguration witnessed yet another first. As a part of inaugural activities, the post inaugural presidential speech is one of the most important aspect of the day’s activity. Since 1999, every presidential inauguration is graced with presidential speech after oath taking. This is the standard practice all over the world. The president takes time to address the citizens, party faithful, supporters and well wishers, while also thanking them for their support, also assure them of the plans to make their lives better through the programmes and policies of the government. This year, President Buhari did not address Nigerians after taking oath of office. The president did not say anything. No appreciation. No assurance. No promise. No speech at all. This is the very first time a Nigerian President will simply walk away after inauguration without a speech.
Key members of the State Council were absent. As is with the custom, Presidential inauguration all over the world often witness convocation of past leaders. In Nigeria, it is not different. Presidential inauguration has always witnessed coming together of past Nigerian leaders. Today, the situation is different as many past Nigerian leaders were absent from the venue of the presidential inaugural event. Notably, the two living past civilian leaders between 1999 to date, were absent from the event for inexplicable reasons.
The National Chairman of APC; Adams Oshiomole, assumed the position of Deputy Chief Justice of the Federation. He violated protocol in full view of the public and stood just before the Chief Judge. Despite looking odd and totally out of place, the APC National Chairman remained standing there till he was asked to leave the place to where he ought to stay, all before camera. What an embarrassment!
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