President Muhammadu Buhari has conferred national honours on Nigeria’s President-elect, Bola Tinubu and Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima.
The event took place on Thursday at the Conference Center of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
At exactly 10:39 am local time, President Buhari conferred the National honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on President-Elect, Bola Tinubu.
Vice President-Elect, Kashim Shettima, was earlier at 10:25, local time, conferred with the National Honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, GCON.
Both leaders were conferred at the 2023 Presidential Inauguration Investiture of National Honours and Official Handover of Transition Documents Ceremony.
In his remarks, President Buhari declared that he is confident that Nigeria would be in capable hands when he leaves office on Monday, May 29.
He said; “By the Honours Award Act, 1963, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, (LFN), 2004, Presidents/Heads of State receive the Honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR) while the Vice Presidents are awarded the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).
“Today, with the authority vested in me, as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I have conferred the National Honour of GCFR on His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu and that of the GCON on His Excellency Kashim Shettima respectively.
“I have no doubt that Nigeria will continue to thrive and achieve new heights under your leadership. You were the best Candidate at the elections and Nigerians have chosen wisely.”
President Buhari urged Tinubu not to forget that leadership comes with enormous responsibility.
He said; “As we celebrate this auspicious occasion, let us not forget the immense responsibilities that come with leadership. The challenges facing our nation are significant, and the President and Vice President must address them with courage, wisdom, and compassion.
“We must remain committed to the principles of good governance, transparency, and accountability, as these are the foundations upon which our nation’s progress and development rely.
“President-Elect, Bola Tinubu, you have a long and illustrious track record of public service, marked by your exceptional achievements in various capacities. Your transformative leadership in Lagos State, where you left an indelible mark in the areas of infrastructure, education, healthcare, and economic development, speaks volumes about your dedication to the welfare of the Nigerian people.”
The Nigerian leader, who also handed over the baton of service and transition documents to the President-elect, took time to explain why he did so.
He said: “To avoid a repeat of our 2015 experience, I signed Executive Order No. 14 of 2023, which establishes the legal framework for conducting presidential transitions at the federal level.
“The Executive Order establishes the Presidential Transition Council chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Ministerial Transition Teams headed by the Permanent Secretaries.
“The primary responsibility of these two ad-hoc bodies is to ensure that every piece of information that will help a new administration get off to a speedy start is made available in a usable format and promptly.
“Today, I am so proud to have handed over to you my Successor, Your Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu three key documents that will guide you as you aim to define a path for your administration.
“It is my earnest desire that you will find these documents useful as this would be the first time in the history of this country that such detailed documentation will be produced for handover to a new administration. I strongly encourage you to uphold this legacy and make the experience even better for your Successor by the time you leave office.”
President-Elect, Bola Tinubu, stated that he understands the honour given to him and his VP-elect and the magnitude of the task ahead, and told the President that even after leaving office, he will approach him when the need arises.
He said; “I understand the honour given to me today and the magnitude of the task ahead, whether you go to Daura or Niger Republic, expect knocks on your doors,” he said.
The President-elect pledged not to disappoint Nigerians, saying all sectors would be given the needed attention.
“We are determined as enumerated, our securit, economy, agriculture, jobs, education, health, power and in all sectors, we must make headway as you have charted the course (referring to President Buhari). The people deserve no less. I shall not disappoint you,” he said.
Those in attendance at the event were the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, wife of the President-elect, Oluremi Tinubu, wife of the Vice President-elect, President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Governors, Ministers and Diplomats among others.