Minister of Culture and Tourism and Chairman of the Media and Publicity Sub-Committee of the Presidential Inauguration Planning Committee, Chief Edem Duke in a news conference today stated that more than 50 world leaders are expected to attend the inauguration of the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday next week.
According to Duke he said activities for the inauguration began today Friday with a Jumaat prayer at the National Central Mosque, Abuja.
Duke said; “As we speak, the 54 countries of the continent of Africa have been invited. Very many of the heads of state will be coming. There has been a huge interest, especially from heads of countries in Europe to attend this inauguration.
“At the last count, I think we must have in excess of about 50 Heads of State and delegation expected at this inauguration.”
According to him, a high security strategy is being put in place for a hitch-free exercise.
Duke stated that all invitees for the various segments of the inauguration would be thoroughly screened to avoid what happened during the 50th independence anniversary of Nigeria in 2010, when there was a bomb blast near Eagle Square.
The minister said some roads in the Federal Capital Territory would be blocked on the inauguration day to ensure smooth movement to and from the Eagle Square, venue of the inauguration.
Speaking further he said; “The security agencies are working in close concert to ensure that there is absolutely no threat to the security of this inauguration. Arrangements are being made to screen all the invitees long before they access the perimeters of the location.”
“There is also a plan that in some locations within the city there might be big screens for members of the public to follow the activities of the swearing-in, especially. So people don’t need to come to the Eagle Square if they don’t have invitation cards,” the minister added.
He said that; “If we tell you the amount we are spending, you will be shocked. We are not even spending N3bn, not even up to N2bn. In any case, if we tell you, what are you going to do with it?” When asked to disclose the exact amount, the minister declined.