The opening glee of the the transition to another government was played out to a select audience on Thursday with the execution of two significant events; the conferment and decoration of the nation’s highest honours on the President-elect and the Vice President-elect and the official handing over of the document containing the state of affairs
The opening glee of the the transition to another government was played out to a select audience on Thursday with the execution of two significant events; the conferment and decoration of the nation’s highest honours on the President-elect and the Vice President-elect and the official handing over of the document containing the state of affairs in government to Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President elect.
Though earlier announced, President Muhammadu Buhari formally conferred Nigeria’s highest national honour- Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on President-elect, Senator Tinubu and the second highest national honour, Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), was also conferred on Vice President-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima.
It has become a tradition for the highest national honours to be conferred on all Heads of state and their deputies in Nigeria. The outgoing President also handed the transition documents and the baton of service to the incoming president at the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, President Buhari for the second time this week declared that he was confident that Nigeria was in capable hands. He made a similar declaration during the commissioning of Dangote Refineries and Petrochemical Company in Lagos earlier in the week.
Beating his chest for serving the nation well, President Buhari said he had ran a good race and finished the fight and it is now time for him to pass on the baton. and reminded urged his successor not to forget that leadership comes with enormous responsibility.
President-elect, Senator Tinubu in his response declared that although governance may not always be smooth, collective ability will help overcome the challenges that may come the way of his administration.
His words: “Our way shall not always be smooth. Yet we are imbued with faith in our purpose and a firm belief in our collective ability to overcome the challenges that confront us.”
While appreciating the contributions of President Buhari to national development, Senator Tinubu expressed his determination not to betray the trust reposed in him by Nigerians. According to him: “the people have put their trust in us. You have done your part Mr. President. Now, that great duty descends on me. I understand the meaning of the honour given to me today and of the task that awaits.
“I must run this race and must do it well. On security, the economy, agriculture, jobs, education, health and power and in all other sectors we must make headway. The people deserve no less. In this, I shall disappoint neither them nor you, Mr. President.”
Below is the full text of Senator Tinubu’s speech:
“Thank You, Mr. President, for bestowing the nation’s highest honors on my Vice President-elect Shettima and me. Our deep thanks also for the transition documents and the committed work performed by the transition council headed by the SGF.
“The documents summarize the immense work of your administration. They constitute an impressive and noteworthy scorecard. You have made history and no one can take your contribution to our nation’s development.
“Your devotion to progressive and democratic good governance is unassailable. As such, I stand here renewed not only in hope but also in dedication to our national purpose and destiny. I also feel full of pride but this pride I feel is not for myself. It is for what this moment represents.
“This stately occasion is living evidence that Nigeria is a vibrant and true democracy. All of us here bear witness to this inspiring proceeding where one leader bestows personal honor on his successor. Also, that leader does his utmost to exchange the baton of government by ensuring that his successor is as well-prepared as possible for the task at hand.
“This hall is permeated with a sense of reverence for our democracy and the confident belief that this reverence shall be enshrined for generations to come. Today is more than ceremony. It confirms that our path is right and that nothing will deter us from adhering to it.
“Our way shall not always be smooth. Yet we are imbued with faith in our purpose and a firm belief in our collective ability to overcome the challenges that confront us.
“President Buhari, you have shown courage in taking tough decisions others avoided. One such decision was to recognize the injustice of the annulment of the 1993 election, to designate June 12 as Democracy Day, and to bestow the nation’s highest honor on the late MKO Abiola.
“As much as anyone could, you reached back into history to set the record straight and heal a festering wound. The justice you did in this matter lends special meaning to today. I am a simple man who is the beneficiary of the support and goodwill of the people of Nigeria.