President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to preside over a meeting of the Council of State today, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The council which has all living former presidents and heads of government as members is the third President Buhari will be hosting since came into power since 2015.
Those expected at the meeting include former President Shehu Shagari, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former President Goodluck Jonathan. President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo need all the help they can get from present and former leaders of the country.
Others expected to be in attendance include former military Heads of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd.), General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd.), General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.), as well as the former chairman of the defunct Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo will also attend the meeting alongside the Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; all living former Chief Justices of Nigeria; all the 36 state governors and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, who are all members of the council. According to The Punch, the spate of killings being carried out by herdsmen in parts of the country is expected to form part of discussions at the meeting. The council has the constitutional duties of advising the President in the exercise of his powers with respect to national census, prerogative of mercy, award of national honours, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the National Judicial Council and the National Population Commission. It also has the responsibility of advising the president whenever requested to do so, on the maintenance of public order within the federation or any part thereof.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly, on Friday, February 16, said it would not hesitate to invoke the relevant section of the Nigerian 1999 constitution, and override the executive powers of President Muhammadu Buhari, if he does not eventually assent to the bill establishing Nigerian Peace Corps.
In a chat with a national newspaper last week, the spokesman for the House of Representatives, Honourable Abdulrazaq Namdas, said the members would wait patiently for President Muhammadu Buhari to write the National Assembly if he would not append his signature to the bill before deciding on the next step.