For the first time in years, the National Council of State had all former heads of state in attendance in what will be the last to be presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Fears that former President Olusegun Obasanjo would continue his boycott of the advisory body heightened, as he was not inside the council chambers of the presidential villa when the meeting started at 11.30 am on Tuesday. He later came into the chambers.
Obasanjo, who played a major role in the election of Jonathan in 2011, publicly fell out with the president ahead of the 2015 elections.
He boycotted council of state meetings and endorsed Jonathan’s opponent, Muhammadu Buhari, a former head of state and retired major general, who went on to win the March 28 presidential election — the first by an opposition candidate in Nigeria.
Other former heads of state at the meeting were Yakubu Gowon, a retired general, Shehu Shagari, Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida, a retired general, Ernest Shonekan and Abdusalami Abubakar, also a retired general.