- As IBB, Shagari, Shonekan, Jonathan absent
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The third Council of State meeting under President Muhammadu Buhari is currently underway inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa.
The three former Heads of State in attendance are Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, were in attendance.
Former Chief Justice of Nigeria in attendance are: Mohammed Uwais, Idris Kutigi, Alfa Belgore and Aloma Muktar.
Former leaders absent are Shehu Shagari Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Earnest Shonekan and Goodluck Jonathan.
The opening prayers were said by Gowon and Uwaise.
The meeting is focusing on issues of insecurity in the country as well as the coming elections in 2019.
Officials from Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) are around to brief the council.
Obasanjo, who was five minutes late, rushed when a minute silence was being observed in honour of the late former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Mustapha.
He then went straight to shake hands with Buhari Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Abubakar before taking his seat.
The meeting, which began at 11:05am, is also being attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister, Abubakar Malami.
Before the meeting commenced, Buhari had gone round the Council Chambers to shake hands with his visitors.
The governors in attendance are those of Sokoto, Delta, Adamawa, Imo, Benue, Lagos, Nasarawa, Abia, Bauchi, Jigawa, Kebbi, Plateau, Kano, Wike, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Ekiti, Kogi, Zamfara, Osun, Ogun, Niger and Ebonyi. Governor Fayose was seen clad in Igbo attire when he met with the president.
The deputy governors of Bayelsa and Enugu are also in attendance.
The first meeting under this administration held in October 21, 2015 while the second held in September 2016.
The Council of State is an organ of the Federal Government saddled with the responsibility of advising the executive on policy making.
The council, which comprises president as chairman and vice president as deputy chairman, has as members; all former presidents and Heads of State all former Chief Justices of Nigeria, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, all state governors and Attorney-General of the Federation.
Its duties include advising the president in the exercise of his powers with respect to the National population census and compilation, publication and keeping of records and other information concerning the same; prerogative of mercy; award of national honours; the Independent National Electoral Commission (including the appointment of members of that Commission); the National Judicial Council (including the appointment of the members, other than ex-officio members of that Council); the National Population Commission (including the appointment of members of that Commission).
The council also advises the president whenever requested to do so on the maintenance of public order and on such other matters as the he may direct.