President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday in Abuja, handed the transition documents to the President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who said he would dedicate himself to “national purpose and destiny”.
President Buhari also handed the baton of service alongside the documents at the investiture of the national honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on Tinubu and Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) on Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja.
This is in line with Executive Order 14 which mandates that the transition council issues handover notes containing, amongst other things, proposed policy direction for the incoming administration.
It is groundbreaking as this has not been the practice.
The 2023 presidential inauguration will mark Nigeria’s 7th consecutive democratic transition.
Tinubu thanked President Buhari for the conferring the nation’s highest honours on him and his deputy. He said the transition documents summarised the “immense work of your administration. They constitute an impressive and noteworthy scorecard”.
Full text of the President-elect’s address:
“Thank You, Mr. President, for bestowing the nation’s highest honours on my Vice President elect Shettima and me.
“Our deep thanks also for the transition documents and the committed work performed by the transition council headed by the SGF.
“The documents summarise the immense work of your administration. They constitute an impressive and noteworthy scorecard.
“You have made history and no one can take your contribution to our nation’s development.
“Your devotion to progressive and democratic good governance is unassailable.
“As such, I stand here renewed not only in hope but also in dedication to our national purpose and destiny.
“I also feel full of pride but this pride I feel is not for myself. It is for what this moment represents.
“This stately occasion is living evidence that Nigeria is a vibrant and true democracy. All of us here bear witness to this inspiring proceeding where one leader bestows personal honor on his successor. Also, that leader does his utmost to exchange the baton of government by ensuring that his successor is as well-prepared as possible for the task at hand.
“This hall is permeated with a sense of reverence for our democracy and the confident belief that this reverence shall be enshrined for generations to come.
“Today is more than ceremony. It confirms that our path is right and that nothing will deter us from adhering to it.
“Our way shall not always be smooth. Yet we are imbued with faith in our purpose and a firm belief in our collective ability to overcome the challenges that confront us.
“President Buhari, you have shown courage in taking tough decisions others avoided.
“One such decision was to recognize the injustice of the annulment of the 1993 election, to designate 12th June as Democracy Day, and to bestow the nation’s highest honor on the late MKO Abiola.
“As much as anyone could, you reached back into history to set the record straight and heal a festering wound.
“The justice you did in this matter lends special meaning to today.
“I am a simple man who is the beneficiary of the support and goodwill of the people of Nigeria.
“The people have put their trust in us. You have done your part Mr. President.
“Now, that great duty descends on me. I understand the meaning of the honor given to me today and of the task that awaits.
“I must run this race and must do it well. On security, the economy, agriculture, jobs, education, health and power and in all other sectors we must make headway. The people deserve no less. In this, I shall disappoint neither them nor you, Mr. President.
“Thank You and May God Bless our beloved republic”.