President-elect Bola Tinubu will be sworn in today as Nigeria’s 16th leader since the country’s independence in 1960. Kashim Shettima will be inaugurated as the nation’s new vice president. Both will be succeeding President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo whose second four-year term lapses today. The inauguration of Messrs Tinubu and Shettima will hold at Eagle Square, Abuja. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on 1 March, declared Mr Tinubu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the 25 February presidential election. He defeated 17 other candidates who took part in the election after polling 8,794,726 votes. He also scored over 25 per cent of the votes in over 25 states.
His closest rival, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a former vice president, polled a total of 6,984,520 votes while the Labour Party (LP) flag bearer, Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, garnered 6,101,533 votes and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) 1,496,687 votes.
Mr Tinubu, 71, will be inaugurated as the fifth president of the current Fourth Republic which began in 1999. He served as governor of Lagos State, the country’s economic hub, between 1999 and 2007. An accountant by profession, Mr Tinubu had previously served as a senator in the short-lived Third Republic.
Mr Shettima, 57, was governor of Borno State in the nation’s north-east region between 2011 and 2015 when he was elected to represent the state’s central district. The vice president-elect who is a professional banker served at various times as the state commissioner for finance and economic development, local government and chieftaincy affairs, education, agriculture and health.
The facility where previous presidents’ inaugurations were held has since undergone renovation in preparation for today’s Inauguration. The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, is expected to administer the oath of office at 10 a.m. today, according to the Presidential Transition Committee (PTC) established by the outgoing Buhari administration to midwife the transition programme.
Foreign heads of state and government and dignitaries, including delegations from the US and the UK, will attend the inauguration. Several foreign and local media have also been accredited to cover the historic event.
Remarkably, the event is holding despite various moves to abort it through the plethora of court cases as well as protests by some groups. Messrs Atiku and Obi as well as the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) are currently challenging the declaration of Mr Tinubu as the winner of the February poll. The Presidential Election Petition Court has since consolidated the three petitions.