Ahead of the May 29 inauguration of Nigeria’s President-elect, Bola Tinubu, leaders of the world have indicated interest to attend the ceremony billed for the Eagle Square in Nigeria’s capital Abuja on May 29, 2023.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and chairman of the Presidential Transition Council (PTC), Boss Mustapa, had last week assured that most foreign countries, heads of state, presidents and other dignitaries invited for the inauguration have indicated interests to attend the epoch-making event.
The SGF said this last Thursday in Abuja in his remarks during a world press conference organised to brief Nigerians and the entire world on the programme of activities planned for the 2023 Presidential Inauguration.
Although the SGF did not disclose the names of the foreign countries and leaders that will attend the event because of diplomatic privileges, the United States President, Joe Biden, on Monday announced a nine-member delegation to attend the inauguration.
A statement issued on Tuesday by the US Embassy in Abuja said the delegation will be led by Marcia L. Fudge, US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Other members of the US mission to Nigeria include: David Greene, chargé d’affaires at the US Embassy in Abuja; Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Democratic Representative from California; Marisa Lago, the US Department of Commerce’s Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade and Michael E. Langley, the commander of the United States Africa Command.
Others include Enoh T. Ebong, director of the United States Trade and Development Agency; Mary Catherine Phee, the US Department of State’s Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; Judd Devermont, national security council’s special assistant to the president and senior director for African issues and Monde Muyangwa, the assistant administrator for Africa at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The United Kingdom High Commission in Abuja also gave an indication that a strong delegation from the UK will attend the event.
This was disclosed on Wednesday to our correspondent by the head of the media unit of the British High Commission in Abuja, Dean Hurlock.
Hurlock said, “the UK delegation will be headed by the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for the inauguration The Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, Minister of State for Development and Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office with the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Nigeria and Special Envoy on Girls’ Education, The Rt Hon Helen Grant OBE MP and the British High Commissioner to Nigeria Dr Richard Montgomery CMG.”
Following the trail of the US and UK was Canada, which announced on Wednesday through its High Commission that the country will be represented by Honorable Ahmed Husain, Minister For Housing Diversity and inclusion.
In a similar development, the Indian High commission in Abuja told our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday that the country will be represented by a powerful delegation. The media officer of the mission Vipul Mesariya, told LEADERSHIP that Delhi might send in a strong delegation led by a Minister.
The Chinese authorities at the Embassy in Abuja also confirmed that a team from the Chinese government will be at the event to show solidarity to Nigeria and strengthen the existing bilateral ties with the country.
Officer in charge of the political and media unit Gu Jing told our correspondent that the country will certainly send a representative but it was not certain yet.
A source from Sierra Leone told our correspondent on Wednesday that President of the country Juilius Mada Bio will likely lead a strong delegation to the country.
The Turkish Embassy also told LEADERSHIP that plans are still on ground to send a delegation. A source in the embassy, who did not give her name, said the delegation might be announced before the weekend.
Tinubu was declared winner of the 25 February 2023 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He defeated his closest rivals, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party to clinch Nigeria’s most coveted seat.
However, Tinubu’s victory is being challenged at the election petition tribunal by both Atiku and Peter Obi who alleged that the electoral body rigged the election to favour the former Lagos state governor. They are also challenging Tinubu’s alleged drug -related case in the US.