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May 28 or 29? Hassles of a handover date



Since the return to democracy in Nigeria, May 29 has become sacrosanct as democracy day, and a public holiday is usually fixed for that day, for citizens to celebrate the reign of participatory governance in the nation’s history.

But now, both the incoming and outgoing administrations are creating a lot of hassles over the date of handover of government, about to turn a seemingly joyous moment, into their usual avenue for politicking, and propaganda.

Indications have emerged that the outgoing government, and the incoming one may be heading for a showdown over the date for the handover.

Minister of Information, Senator Patricia Akwashiki, had revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan would perform the handover ceremony at a dinner on May 28, while reserving May 29 for the incoming government.

She had said, “You know May 29 is our Democracy Day. So, we have activities lined up all through that week, showcasing all what we have achieved and all other things we do normally on our Democracy Day except that this year is special with the inauguration of our new president that is coming up on May 29.”

But a member of the Buhari campaign team, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, faulted the May 28 date, saying, “It portends ill for the political destiny of this nation.”

Another top member of the APC, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “It is simply not acceptable, we are rejecting it, it is a trap.”

He explained that from a security point of view, it could be considered a trap.

“How can anyone explain a situation where an outgoing president and his team will conveniently excuse themselves from an event where they are supposed to play a role when the President-elect and the Vice-President- elect are supposed to be present?” he queried.

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