By Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Federal Government has assured world leaders invited for the Democracy Day that holds on June 12 of their safety while in the country.
The security guarantee was issued on Monday by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a World Press Conference by the Media and Publicity Committee by the Presidential Inauguration Committee.
He gave the assurance in the wake of the recent alarm raised by the military to the effect that some elements were trying to subvert the government.
Mohammed, addressed the press in conjunction with other members of the committee, which included the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen Mansur Dan Ali (rtd); Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu; Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr Baura Buhari and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Godfrey Onyeama.
The Permanent Secretary Political and Economic Affairs Office, Gabriel Aduda, stood in for the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
Two other Permanent Secretaries, Jabi Arabi of the State House and Georgina Ehuria of Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, were at the occasion.
Mohammed said that invitations had since been sent out to world leaders. He assured they will be safe while in the country for the Democracy Day celebration on June 12, adding that there was no cause for alarm as security apparatus were already addressing the concern raised by the military.
He also added that the federal government can barely afford the costs of two celebrations within a period of less than two weeks, which explains why the Presidential Inauguration on May 29 to herald the beginning of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term in office will be low key.
The swearing in of the president and the vice president will hold at the Eagle Square, to be followed by a State Banquet at the State House in the evening of the same day.
The minister said the country will have a full blown celebration in the first observance of June12 as the nation’s Democracy Day. Public holidays will be declared in commemoration of that day as well as the Presidential Inauguration Day.
Mohammed similarly used the briefing to give details of the events that have been slated for both the Inauguration and the Democracy Day.
“You will recall that Mr. President last year declared June 12 as Democracy Day and a national holiday. He also said the official commencement of the new Democracy Day will be in 2019. It is in fulfillment of this declaration, therefore, that the Federal Executive Council decided, at its meeting on Wednesday May 8th 2019, to have a low-key presidential inauguration on May 29th, and then defer the celebration that comes with it to the June 12 Democracy Day,” Mohammed said.
He said activities leading to the inauguration of President Buhari that officially
kicked off with the press conference will be followed with the commencement of a three-day National Youth Entrepreneurship Empowerment Summit at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Abuja on Tuesday, May 21.
The Federal Executive Council valedictory session will be held at the Council Chambers, State House, Abuja, on Wednesday, May 22, while the First Lady’s interaction with women is slated for the Old Chamber at the State House on Saturday May 25.
President Buhari will give a Children’s Day broadcast on May 27, to be followed later in the day by a Children’s variety.
The events celebrating June 12 as Democracy Day will kick off on June 7, with a Historical Exhibition in Arts, Pictures and Immersive Environment and run through June 12. The event is slated to hold at the ICC.