Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the U.S. at noon (6 p.m. Nigerian time) on Friday, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, has announced.
The ceremony is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m., with a musical prelude beforehand, according to a copy of the inauguration programme seen by the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Afterward, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are slated to participate in the traditional inaugural parade, which is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. (9 p.m. Nigerian time).
“The theme of the 58th Presidential Inauguration, ‘Uniquely American,’ recognises the symbolic importance of today’s event.
“We may consider it routine, but the inaugural ceremony remains a uniquely American expression of our constitutional system.
“The peaceful transition between presidential administrations signals that we are united as a people behind an enduring republic,” the programme reads.
According to the programme, the framers of U.S. Constitution understood that the government they had created was imperfect, crafted from a series of compromises, and that perfection would be elusive.
It said the framers also recognised that, for the American government to endure, it must have the ability to improve itself, to evolve in form and function, and to be guided by new ideas and new personalities.
To accommodate that need, the framers provided for constitutional amendments, for the regular election of officials, and for the routine transfer of power.
“When the framers of the United States Constitution crafted our founding document, they proclaimed that ‘We, the People’ were creating a new form of government ‘in order to form a more perfect Union’.
“Today, as we celebrate the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, we honour this uniquely American constitutional quest.
“The peaceful transition between presidential administrations signals that we are united as a people behind an enduring republic.”
The committee quoted that in 1981, the inaugural ceremony struck then President Ronald Reagan as being both commonplace and miraculous.
“The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place, as it has for almost two centuries, and few of us stop to think how unique we really are.
“In the eyes of many in the world, this every-four-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle,” Reagan said in his address.
“The inaugural ceremony may be a routine event, but it remains a unique symbol of our constitutional system,” the committee stated.
According to reports, the ceremony opens with the call to order from Sen. Roy Blunt, followed by readings and invocations and music from the Missouri State University chorale.
Pence will then take the Vice Presidential oath of office, administered by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs, and then Trump takes the presidential oath of office, administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
Trump will give his inaugural address, followed by more readings and a benediction and close with the national anthem.
Besides Trump, his family and the Obamas, several living ex-presidents will be in attendance.
Jimmy Carter was the first to say he will attend, and so will George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney also said he will be there.
Both former President Bill Clinton and 2016 presidential election nominee Hillary Clinton are also slated to attend.
A George H. W. Bush spokesman said he will not be there, citing health concerns.
Trump was defeated Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton in the Nov 8, 2016 presidential election