Former president Olusegun Obasanjo who had avoided previous council of state meetings as a result of the frosty relationship between the president Goodluck Jonathan and the former president Olusegun Obasanjo. Former President Obasanjo came in about 12.15pm to join the meeting that started by 11 am.Former Military President Ibrahim Babangida was the first former leader to be at the meeting as president-elect Muhammadu Buhari came in behind him .Not long after the other leaders came in except Former President Obasanjo who came in after the meeting had started. Obasanjo who arrived the state house in the company ofthe daughter Funke was well received by Jonathan as both men exchanged pleasantry.
This is the last council of state meeting to be presided by President Jonathan as he leaves office on May 29, 2015. The meeting was held on Tuesday at the state house council chambers, Abuja.
All former heads of state and presidents alive attended the meeting. They included Former head of state Yakubu Gowon, former President Olusegun Obasanjo,former president Shehu Shagari ,former military head of state and president-elect Muhammadu Buhari, former military president Ibrahim Babangida,former head of the interim government Ernest Shonekan and former military head of state Abdusalami Abubakar.
The governors in attendance included Olusegun Mimiko(Ondo)Seriake Dickson(Bayelsa)Emmanuel Udughan (Delta)Gabriel Suswan(Benue)Liyel Imoke(Cross River) Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa)Ramalan Yero(Kaduna)Rotimi Amaechi(Rivers) James Ngilari(Adamawa)Ibikunle Amosun(Ogun)Jonah Jang(Plateau)Godswill Akpabio(Akwa Ibom)Aliyu Wamako(Sokoto)Martin Elechi(Ebonyi)Babangida Aliyu(Niger)Abdulaziz Yari(Zamfara)and the acting governor of Taraba. Four deputy governors represented their pricinpal. They included Kano, Kogi,Oyo and Yobe.
The senate president ,David Mark, Speaker Tambuwal and three former chief justice of the federation were present. They included Muhammadu Uwais,Alfa Belgore and Idris Kutigi.
The secretary to the government of the federation Anyim Pius Anyim, the National Security Adviser to the president Sambo Dasuki and the Chief of Staff to the president Jones Arogbofa were present.
The governor of Niger state Babangida Aliyu said the meeting commended President Jonathan for conceding defeat at the last election. He said one could hardly notice the tension that existed before the election. He said they hope that the development which was commended will continue in future elections such that those who win will be magnanimous in victory and those who lose will concede defeat.
Governor Aliyu also said that the handovver notes will be handed over before May 28. He also said that invitations have been sent to all African countries ,the UN,the G8 and ECOWAS nations .
Governor Gabriel Suswan said that the Nationa Security Adviser to the President Sambo Dasuki briefed the council that it took a while to contain the terrorists because they needed the cooperation of the neighbouring nations which they now have . He said that the NSA assured the council that the Sambisa forest will be cleared and the terrorists annihilated before May 29. The meeting discussed the state of insecurity in the NorthEast and agreed that they needed to do more to support the fight against insurgency.
The police council met behind closed doors. The chairman of the police service commission former IGP Okiro said the president told them that the former IGP Suleiman Abba was sacked because of the indiscipline in the rank and file of the police .The acting Inspector General of Police Solomon Arase appointment was confirmed by the council of state. He will be the first acting IGP to be confirmed within one month of appoinment as acting IGP. The IGP said his priority will be the welfare of the police force. He reiterated that the order on eliminating road blocks remains. He also said the welfare of the policeman remains on the front burner. He said you don’t motivate a workforce without taking care of their welfare . He told reporters that he will ensure that no Nigerian suffers injustice through his action or inaction.
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
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