Nigerians are literally in the mood of ‘change’ with a new administration to be headed by General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) elected on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC set to take over the reins of government from President Goodluck Jonathan of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in less than 24 hours.
Everything seems to be set for the inauguration as the President-elect Muhammadu Buhari who travelled to the United Kingdom last Friday returned to Nigeria early this morning in company of some of his aides ahead of his inauguration as President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria on Friday.
As part of the final activities for the inauguration, outgoing President Jonathan and his Vice President, Namadi Sambo had earlier been scheduled to take the president elect and Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President elect on a tour of Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja the office of the Nigerian President today.
Buhari and some of his aides arrived for the tour of the Presidential Villa at exactly 11 a.m scheduled time and was holding a meeting with the outgoing President in his office preparatory to the commencement of the tour as at the time of filing in this story.
The tour is expected to be followed by inauguration dinner to be attended by the President elect, members of the diplomatic corps, the outgoing President and members of his cabinet among others later this evening.
The inauguration is gradually bringing life back to Abuja where social economic activities have been at very low ebb for some weeks now as a result of persistent scarcity of petroleum products.
Already, the Eagle Square venue of the inauguration has been a beehive of activities with the military perfecting their parades and other preparations for the various activities they will be engaged in during the inauguration.
Nigeria flags have been mounted on electricity polls in the capital city to signify the momentous occasion which will be attended by over 50 world leaders.
John Kerry, the United States Secretary of State who is leading the delegation from his country is expected to arrive in Abuja with members of his delegation later today. President Barack Obama has last week released the list of the White House delegation which included Nigerian, basket ball star, Hakeem Olajuwon.
Other members of the presidential delegation include James F. Entwistle, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Department of State, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Department of State, and General David M. Rodriguez, Commander, U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM). Others are Hon. Grant T. Harris, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs, National Security Council.
Reports indicated that the US delegation is expected to arrive at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja in the afternoon.
Also expected at the inauguration is President Alpha Condé of Guinea who is already in Nigeria, while Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Special Envoy, Agriculture Minister Han Changfu, will lead the delegation from China to attend the inauguration as announced by the Asian Foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, on Tuesday.
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is also expected to arrive in Abuja for the inauguration today.
Chairman of the Media and Publicity Sub-Committee of the Presidential Inauguration Planning Committee, Chief Edem Duke, had revealed that over 50 Presidents and Heads of Government are expected in Abuja for the inauguration.
Solomon Arase, the Inspector General of Police on Wednesday ordered his men to deploy tight security at the Eagle Square, hotels, key and vulnerable places within the capital city ahead of the inauguration.
In the same vein, the Police Chief also directed that Tactical Operation Points be mounted on all roads leading into and out of the FCT in a statement issued on his behalf in Abuja yesterday by the Force Spokesman, Emmanuel Ojukwu. On its part, the Federal Road Safety Corps said it has deployed 23,000 personnel to designated routes during the swearing-in.
According to the Commission, over 150 patrol vehicles, 15 ambulances, 35 motorbikes and seven towing trucks have been deployed to designated routes of Abuja as part of measures to ensure seamless traffic flow in Abuja during the inauguration ceremony.
FRSC added that it has also strengthened its collaboration with other security agencies along the Gwagwalada, Nyanya, Zuba, Lugbe and Kubwa corridor through routine patrols and rescue services in addition to traffic control on major intersections of the city.