There is no truth to reports that the Federal Government is considering shifting the presidential inauguration from May 29 to June 12, according to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Sunday.
Backstory: Media reports had last week claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari would be inaugurated for a second term on June 12.
However, Buhari’s media aide has said those who were behind the reports were only attempting to cause confusion.
- “There is no truth in that report. As a matter of fact, we will soon issue a statement on it to clear the air.”
- “The President was inaugurated for his first term in office on May 29, 2015. He ceases to be President on May 29, 2019, if he is not inaugurated for his second term on that day.”
- “For the avoidance of doubt, there is no plan to shift the President’s inauguration to June 12. The inauguration will hold on May 29.”
Bottom line: Although the presidency is now blaming others for attempting to cause confusion, the confusion originated directly from the president. Last year, he personally signed a statement in which he authorized June 12 as the new Democracy Day.
While honoring the winner of the June 12, 1993 elections, Chief MKO Abiola, the president declared June 12, 2018 as “a date which in future years will replace May 29 as a National Public Holiday in celebration of Nigeria’s Democracy Day.”
- The statement was confusing because May 29, 2019 was expected to be the handover date and people wondered if that date was not going to be a public holiday. And if it wasn’t, would the inauguration take place on that date?
- Nobody from the presidency attempted to clarify it for almost a year until now.