A bill which will enforce that an elected President and Vice President of Nigeria be inaugurated at the premises of the National Assembly was on Thursday passed by the Senate.
The passage of the bill sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, followed several debates on the report of the Senate Committee on Special Duties.
Before now, inauguration of presidents and vice presidents of the federation takes place at the Eagles Square in the Federal Capital Territory under the oath administered by the Chief Justice of the Federation.
The bill if agreed to by the House of Representatives and assented to by the Executive will enforce the inauguration of president and vice president within the confines of the parliament as is done in the United States and some other democracies of the world.
Reading the report, chairman of the committee, Abdul-Aziz Nyako, noted that the bill if assented to will “be a welcome development as the National Assembly represents all segments of the country.”
The senators after several debates passed the bill through a voice vote.
However, the lawmakers deleted Clause 6 of the bill which deals with the observance of relevant prayers in places of worship before inauguration.
The clause reads: “there shall be national prayers in the week of the inauguration in designated places of worship in the Federal Capital city on Friday and Sunday preceding the date of inauguration.”
The senators observed that prayer is a regular practice and need not be made a point of law.
This is in consideration that people of other faiths apart from Islam and Christianity may rise in protest of this.
Similarly, the committee made amendments to Clause 8 of the bill which deals with accompanying of dignitaries at the venue of inauguration.
Reading the amendment, Mr. Nyako said that “the duty of accompanying dignitaries in a ceremony is totally for ushers appointed to serve in that capacity. Originally, we used to have senators to escort dignitaries; the committee is of the opinion that such exercise should be handled by the clerk of the National Assembly who shall delegate officers to handle the assignment.”