President Barack Obama, now considers sending a high-powered U.S. delegation for the transition event come May 29th. The transfer of power from the Jonathan-Sambo administration to the Buhari-Osinbajo administration is highly anticipated both nationally and internationally.
Two US Ivy universities, Harvard and Yale have since held special review sessions where scholars were invited from around the U.S. and the world to give lectures and seminars on the outcome of the Nigerian elections, focusing on the emergence of a former military head of state, who is a Muslim from the North of Nigeria, and a Christian pastor, who is a law professor from the South as president-elect and vice president-elect respectively.
America’s First Lady, Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden and the Secretary of State, John Kerry, may be present for the May 29th event. From the U.S. Congress also, some of the senior members are said to be planning to attend the event including the Chairman of the US House of Representatives Sub Committee on Africa, Congressman Chris Smith.
Nigeria’s Ambassador to the U.S., Ade Adefuye, said, “I have been told that there would be an unusually large American delegation that will attend the presidential inauguration on May 29″.
He confirmed to journalists on Wednesday that he has also been told that a very senior member of the U.S. government is expected to lead the delegation, but that there was no confirmation yet.
“We are following up with the US government to ensure a very large US presence at the inauguration,” the Ambassador said Tuesday in Washington DC.
Mr. Adefuye explained that “Nigeria’s profile has been on the rise since after the election, the concession by Jonathan, and with the smooth transition that is going on”.
From the U.S. government to the business sectors and think tanks, the level of excitement about the anticipated peaceful transfer of power in Nigeria and the outcome of the elections itself producing the Buhari-Osinbajo ticket from an opposition party, APC, has been quite widespread.
A U.S. State Department source noted that after the elections, feelers were sent out to business groups, think tanks on interests in attending the Nigerian inauguration, and the “feedback has been very encouraging,” said the source.
At the Yale University over the weekend, a group of theologians-the Oxford Study Group on World Christianity had their annual meeting and participants disclosed that the Nigerian election was one of the major discussions this year.
Also, Harvard Africa-American Program had also held an academic review session on the Nigerian election further revealing how widely significant the issue has become here in the US.