Bola Ahmed Tinubu Sworn In As 16th President Of Nigeria

President Bola Tinubu, on Monday, in Abuja, took the oaths of office and allegiance as the 16th President of Nigeria with a vow that the country would not break up.

Tinubu in his inaugural address at Eagle Square also unveiled a series of steps he would take to position the country on the path of economic development, stability and prosperity.

Shortly after his inauguration, Tinubu met with envoys from the United Kingdom, United States, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Brazil, South Korea, Israel, Cape Verde, Somalia and Nicaragua at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The diplomats presented their goodwill messages and letters of support and solidarity to Tinubu.

Dressed in white agbada and buba with a green cap adorned with his trademark logo, the oaths were administered on the new President and the Vice President, Kashim Shettima by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as former president Muhammadu Buhari and his wife Aisha as well Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the wife of the new president, and other family members watched in admiration.

Several African heads of state, diplomats and representatives of foreign governments also witnessed the colourful ceremony which featured a march past by the armed forces as well as dances and other performances by the National Troupe.

African leaders who graced the inauguration included President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, President of Tanzania, Samia Hassan; President of the Republic of Congo Brazzaville, Denis Nguesso, President of Guinea Bissau, Umaro Embaló and his Liberian counterpart, George Weah.

Also present were the President of Burundi, Évariste Ndayishimiye; the Transitional President of Chad, Mahamat Déby; the President of Niger Republic, Mohamed Bazoum; and President Nana Akufo-Ado of Ghana.

Delegations from Sierra Leonean and Qatar were also present. The Qatari team was led by the Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

Representatives of the governments of the US, UK, Canada, India and others also attended the event.

Also in attendance were former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon, former President Goodluck Jonathan, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, serving and former governors, traditional and religious leaders, captains of industry and members of the diplomatic corps among others.

After handing over the reins of power to his successor, Buhari was driven in a black SUV to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport and flown in a Nigerian Air Force plane alongside his family to his hometown, Daura.

Addressing Nigerians shortly after taking over power, Tinubu urged his compatriots not to allow the opportunity for greater development of the country to slip away.

He stated, “Our constitution and laws give us a nation on paper. We must work harder at bringing these noble documents to life by strengthening the bonds of economic collaboration, social cohesion, and cultural understanding. Let us develop a shared sense of fairness and equity.

“The South must not only seek good for itself but must understand that its interests are served when good comes to the North. The North must see the South likewise.

“Whether from the winding creeks of the Niger Delta, the vastness of the northern savannah, the boardrooms of Lagos, the bustling capital of Abuja, or the busy markets of Onitsha, you are all my people. As your president, I shall serve with prejudice toward none but compassion and amity towards all,” Tinubu promised.

He said in its over 60-year history, Nigeria had endured hardships that would have made other societies crumble, but for its resilience and strength of its diversity, the country has remained intact.

“To the surprise of many but not to ourselves, we have more firmly established this land as a democracy in both word and deed.”

He said instead of disintegrating, Nigeria had continued to exist “as Africa’s most populous nation and as the best hope and strongest champion of the black race.”

Saying Nigerians were determined to keep the country united, Tinubu stated, “As citizens, we declare as one unified people devoted to one unified national cause, that as long as this world exists, Nigeria shall exist.”

Speaking on the transition, Tinubu noted, “This handover symbolises our trust in God, our enduring faith in representative governance and our belief in our ability to reshape this nation into the society it was always meant to be.”

To advance the common vision of a better Nigeria, the President solicited the support of all Nigerians “to join me in making Nigeria a more perfect nation and democracy such that the Nigerian ideal becomes and forever remains the Nigerian reality.”

Tinubu explained that though he fought hard to win the February 2023 election, the victory does not make him any more Nigerian than his opponents, who he pledged to relate to as compatriots.

“The outcome reflected the will of the people. However, my victory does not render me any more Nigerian than my opponents. Nor does it render them any less patriotic.

“They shall forever be my fellow compatriots. And I will treat them as such. They represent important constituencies and concerns that wisdom dare not ignore,” he affirmed.

He described the election that brought him to power as tough but fairly won and dedicated his victory to the country with a promise to do his best to advance its progress.

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