•As Jonathan attends first meeting after leaving office
IMMEDIATE past President, Goodluck Jonathan was at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday, to attend the meeting of the National Council of State (NCS), presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It was the first time he would take part in the meeting since he left office on May 29, 2015.
The Council comprises the president as chairman; vice-president (deputy chairman); all former presidents and all former heads of the government of the federation; all former Chief Justices of Nigeria; President of the Senate; Speaker of the House of Representatives; state governors and the Attorney-General of the Federation.
Among those in attendance on Wednesday were former chairman of defunct Interim National Government (ING), Chief Ernest Shonekan and the former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar.
Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon; former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Shehu Shagari and Ibrahim Babangida were absent.
Jonathan’s presence caught the attention of cameramen, who focused almost exclusively on him, as President Buhari led the former leaders into the Aso Chambers venue of the meeting.
The meeting ratified the appointment of Idris Kpotum as the substantive Inspector-General of Police (IGP), as well as approved measures initiated by President Buhari to deal with the current economic recession in the country.
According to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, who briefed State House corespondents on the outcome of the meeting alongside his Jigawa State counterpart, Badaru Abubakar, the council also deliberated on the appointment of six national commissioners for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said the council similarly approved five new commissioners for the National Population Commission (NPC).
He said: “We deliberated on the appointment of six national commissioners for INEC. You know INEC is supposed to have 12. We had earlier approved six sometimes last year and additional six were actually approved today. And those six represents six nominees from the six geopolitical zones.
“You may wish to know that we approved five new commissioners for the NPC in addition to what was actually approved for INEC.”
He gave the names of the new INEC national commissioners as Mohammed Haruna (North-Central); AVM Ahmed Tijani Mu’azu rtd (North-East); Abubakar Nahuca (North-West); Professor Okechukwu Ibanu (South-East); May Agbamuche Mbu (South-South) and Dr Adekunle Ladipo Ogunmola (South-West).
The new NPC commissioners are Eyitayo Oyetunji (Oyo); Patricia Iyaya (Benue); Benedict Ukpong (Akwa Ibom); Halu Bala (Kebbi) and Gloria Isofo (Bayelsa).
Ambode revealed that the IGP would now await confirmation by the Senate.
Expantiating on the outcome of the council meeting, Jigawa State governor said: “We deliberated on the confirmation of the IGP.
“There was almost unanimous acceptance of his confirmation. So, the Police Council do resolve to confirm the acting IGP Ibrahim Idris.”
On economic measures, Abubakar remarked that the council received briefing on the state of the economy, given by the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning.
According to him, the council was confident that the measures would help the economy out of recession.
He added: “The council was also briefed on the status of the economy. The Minister of State from the Ministry of Budget and Planning actually made a presentation to council on the ways and manner in which the Federal Government is approaching to rescue us from the recession path that we are going through.
“Council was confident and also approved the measures the Federal Government is putting in ensuring that Nigeria goes on the path of recovery as quickly as possible.”
On the specific measures, he stated: “Details were given. Suggestions were made by council members. It was also resolved that those suggestions be imputed to whatever it is that the Federal Government is doing in order for us to fast rack out recovery.”
He added: “Majorly, there is a very good focus on the diversification of the economy. Serious focus on agriculture, solid mineral development as well.”
On the expectations from the new police boss, Abubakar said he was expected to conduct himself well.
“Most of the comments received proved to us that the IGP is of impeccable character and we expect him to conduct himself as such. We believe he is very honest and transparent. We also believe he will continue to be honest and do his best for the country,” he said.