Nigeria’s President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, arrived at the Presidential Villa today after his unannounced trip to London. Reports are that the President-elect arrived a few minutes early to his 11am arrival time.
President-elect Buhari was accompanied by the Vice President-elect Yemi Osinbajo, and members of the APC Transition Committee including its Chairman Ahmed Joda, the APC Chairman John Oyegun, as well as Lai Mohammed, Rotimi Ameachi, Tam David West, amongst others.
Buhari told the media during a press conference after his tour of Aso Rock that “[President Jonathan’s] telephone call changed the course of Nigeria’s political history.” President-elect Buhari noted that President Jonathan could have made things very difficult for Nigeria, but by choosing to accept the outcome of the 2015 election, but rather he chose the “path of honor.”
President-elect Buhari commended Jonathan’s statesmanship, “For that you have earned yourself a place in our history, for stabilising this system of multiparty democracy system and you have earned the respect of not only Nigerians but world leaders,” the President-elect said.
“All the leaders that spoke to me and congratulated us for arriving at the point we arrived, mentioned this and I could sense relief in their voices that Nigeria has made it after all and this is largely owed to a situation,” he added.
When asked about the handover notes by members of the press, President-elect Buhari said that he “could not comment on the details of the handover notes until he has been able to review them.”
Mr. Jonathan handed an executive summary of the handover notes to Mr. Buhari, earlier, and included a copy of the National Conference Report, which mapped the recommendations based on the 2014 National Conference.
“It is my pleasure on behalf of the Vice President, members of the executive council and other senior functionaries to formally hand over these handover notes to General Muhammadu Buhari, the President elect who will assume office tomorrow,” President Jonathan said.
“This will give you a mission statement of the commitment of this government for the past five years and the directions we are going that will help you to navigate,” he added.
The President said in his remarks that his administration did the best it could to help influence positive change in some of Nigeria’s biggest issues.
Mr. Jonathan said, “As we hand over the reins of government, I believe that our nation is secure, our democracy is stable, and the future is bright. Let us all work together and with greater resolve, continue to build a stronger and more prosperous nation.”
Ahmed Joda, Chairman of the APC Transition Committee, confirmed the receipt of the handover notes from the Federal Government’s committee. He said that the committee was still studying the notes and handing over the findings when it they are done.
President-elect Buhari is due to be sworn in tomorrow as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This will mark the first time in Nigeria’s history that an incumbent political party is unseated by popular vote.