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Reporter’s diary: Jonathan’s last days in office


JojonattFOR the out-going President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday could have passed off just like any of his other days in office, but it was not so.

It was indeed his last day in office, but full of activities. While he had a busy schedule, State House workers, on the other hand, appeared in the mood for imminent change that is about to happen today.

From early in the morning, the schedules of the President did not portray that of someone who would vacate office in the matters of hours away, as activities continued in the usual manner.

The usual human and vehicular traffic continued unabated, as visitors, some of who may never be seen in the corridors of power, at least in the immediate future, made their last appearances.

Notable among some of the regular visitors were the likes of the Chief Ifeanyi Ubah, the Nnewi, Anambra State-born chief executive officer of Capital Oil who became close to the seat of power through his now rested Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN), the vehicle through which the campaign for the second re-election bid of Jonathan manifested itself.

Jonathan thus began his last days’ shores with the last-minute commissioning of projects embarked upon by his administration such as the corporate headquarters of the Petroleum Development Trust Fund (PTDF) located at the Memorial Avenue, close to the popular Yar’Adua Centre in the Central Business District of Abuja, and the inauguration of the Defence Radio Station, the first of its kind in the sub-Saharan Africa, last Friday.

Also commissioned on Monday, this week, was the Dialysis Centre, which is the initiative of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) intended to provide the services, which hitherto would have been referred to outside the country.

After commissioning the PTDF headquarters, Jonathan returned to the Villa where he received the President-elect, Gen, Muhammadu Buhari, along with his deputy, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), who came to the Villa on a scheduled programme of facility tour of State House as well as receiving the handover documents from the out-going President.

Done with the programmes, which lasted for about two hours, the President went into another sessions of meetings with some visitors, who were waiting for him.

Later on, he was expected to round up the day with a farewell dinner with his outgoing cabinet ministers, where he was expected to dissolve them.

But while Jonathan was busy with his programmes, other members of staff of the State House were seen preparing for the new change that is staring them in the face.

Workers were seen putting finishing touches to some of the strategic landmarks in the Villa notable among which was the face-lift being given to the buildings in the Villa.

Although workers were seen discussing in groups with high expectations of what is to come, there was palpable anxiety among the security aides as most of them have expressed reservations about their future.

By tradition, a new set of security aides are expected to be posted to the Villa while some are to be taken out.

What is apparent is that it is not all of them that would leave at the same time, as some have to be around to put their new colleagues through on how to operate in the Villa.

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