A mild drama took place today at the Council of State meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja when President Muhammadu Buhari was literally abandoned by photographers and cameramen for his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan who attracted the most attention as he attended his first Council of State meeting as a former president.
While Buhari led Jonathan, former Head of State Abdulsalami Abubakar and former Head of the Interim National Government Chief Ernest Shonekan to the meeting, the cameramen and photographers focused on Jonathan for nearly a minute as Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, governors and other officials in attendance remained standing.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, General Yakubu Gowon as well as Shehu Shagari, are absent at the meeting. Senate president, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara are also missing at the gathering.
Also among the attendees are five past Chief Justices of the Federation, state governors and some of their deputies.
It is expected that President Buhari will brief the council on the nomination of Ibrahim Idris as acting Inspector-General of Police. The Council is also expected to consider possible nominees for the positions of National and Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Council of State, chaired by the leader of the nation, is the highest constitutional advisory body in Nigeria, which comprises of all former presidents and heads of states, as well as vice presidents, governors, Senate president and House of Representative speaker. It is an organ of the Nigerian government whose functions includes advising the executive on policy making.
This is the second meeting of the Council of State presided over by President Buhari and the first attended by Jonathan since Buhari became president. The first meeting of the council, under the incumbent administration, was held on October 21, 2015.
The meeting is ongoing at the moment.