Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
A bill seeking to move the inauguration of Nigerian president and vice president from Eagles Square, Abuja, to the premises of the National Assembly complex passed its first reading in the Senate yesterday.
The bill, also known as Presidential Inauguration Bill 2016, sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, was said to have been initiated in line with international best practices as it is the case in the United States and many other democracies.
However, the 11-section bill does not seek to preclude the Chief Justice of Nigeria from administering the oath of office on the two foremost political leaders.
It provides for the inauguration ceremony of the president-elect and the vice president-elect to take place at the Arcade of the National Assembly, where it claims the people are represented.
It also provides for the setting up of a Presidential Inauguration Committee, which shall consist of a serving member of the National Assembly as chairman, six members drawn from the legislature, two from the executive, two from the judiciary, and two from the civil society.
Section 7 of the bill also provides for a procession with the president, while former presidents, former heads of state, former heads of federal government, former vice presidents, former Senate presidents, former speakers of the House of Representatives, and former chief justices of the federation will follow.
The bill further provides that the president-elect and vice president-elect would be the last to come, accompanied by their immediate families and supported by their spouses, serving president of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives at the point of swearing-in.