Nigeria: Inauguration thanksgiving service held ahead of the 2011 Presidential inauguration in Abuja

By Correspondent Chinyere Ogbonna – Activities marking the  Presidential inauguration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan have begun with an  inter-denominational service held at the Christian Centre in Abuja, where the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsajafor advised president Jonathan to make deliberate efforts to end corruption in the country.

Pastor Oritsajafor and other men of God at the service prayed God to grant Dr. Jonathan and his team the wisdom to direct the nation’s affairs as well as the peace of the country.

In his remarks, President Jonathan appreciated the presence of all past leaders of the country and thanked Nigerians for their support. He promised Nigerians that he and all those who would work with him, would govern with the fear of God and ensure good governance.

The President urged Nigerians to reflect on value system and what they could contribute to ensure that the country remain great.

Present at the presidential inauguration thanksgiving service were former heads of states, General Yakubu Gowon, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former interim president, Chief Ernest Sonekan and some top government functionaries.

Across the thirty-six states of the federation all is now set for the inauguration of the  governor -elects and other elected political office holders.

And in Lagos, Lagosians are also set all is set for the inauguration of Governor Babatunde Fashola at the Tafawa Balewa Square.

Shout-Africa’s correspondent who visited the venue, reports that the make-shift pavilion and decoration of the venue are completed while the red carpet for the epoch making occasion has been laid.

Top government officials were seen at the venue assessing the level of preparation. Some of the residents who were at the venue expressed their delight on the upcoming event.

Meanwhile, Security has been beefed up in major cities in Nigeria ahead of the inauguration ceremonies for President Goodluck Jonathan, governors elect and other elected officers for a new four-year term in office.

All roads leading to the Eagle Square, the venue of the presidential inauguration has been cordoned off. Security blockades have mounted at least a kilometer from all routes to the venue.

The Police and the National Security Defence Corps, NSCDC, were stationed at strategic positions observing all movements around the area.

Also on ground are officials of the Federal Road Safety, FRSC, and the Vehicle Inspection Officers, V.I.O’s diverting traffic to other routes.

Armoured personnel carriers belonging to the Police were also spoted at all security points. Anti-terrorism experts and security operatives from the US and Israel have arrived in the capital city Abuja in a bid to pre-empt any possible bombings and acts of terrorism aimed at undermining security in the most populous black nation.

The government is said to have allocated $10 million for security during the swearing-in ceremony, amid reports by security agencies of plots to disrupt the inauguration.

Police have also drawn up plans to deploy five thousand of its men in Abuja alone, to complement the thirty-seven thousand officers in the Police command in the Federal Capital Territory.

President Jonathan will be inaugurated on Sunday May 29Th as the President Federal Republic of Nigeria after his declaration as the winner of the April’s 2011, presidential race, and has vowed to boost security in Nigeria following recent bomb explosions around the country which have killed many people.

Meanwhile, more heads of states and representatives of government have arrived the country ahead of  tomorrow’s presidential inauguration.

Already in the country are President John Atta Mills of Ghana, Zambian Vice President, George Kaunda, as well as representatives of the  presidents of Switzerland, Cameroon, Algeria and Burundi.

The presidents who arrived the country today include Antoni Poulo Kassoma of Angola and George Maxwell of Trinidad and Tobago.

Also in the country, are president Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone and Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic’s, Mohammed Abdulazeez as well as Kenya Vice President, Stephen Kalonzo.

The Presidents or Representatives of China and Democratic Republic of Korea are expected to arrive Sunday morning.

Former president of Zambia and Ghana, Kenneth Kaunda and Jerry Rawlings respectively, are also expected for the event. In all about fifty heads of states accepted the invitations to witness the inauguration.