Bola Ahmed Tinubu has become the 16th leader of Africa’s largest economy amid legal challenges to his victory Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu (C) waves at guests from a motorcade during the his inauguration ceremony at the Eagle Square in Abuja, Nigeria on May 29, 2023. © KOLA SULAIMON / AFP
Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was sworn into office on Monday, despite legal petitions seeking to nullify the outcome of the 2023 presidential election.
Tinubu, 71, who has become the 16th President of Africa’s most populous nation, was sworn in by Nigeria’s chief justice, Olukayode Ariwoola, at Eagles Square in the capital, Abuja.
Taking the oath of office, he promised to carry out his duties in accordance with the constitution, while also calling for Nigerian unity.
“Our constitution gave us a nation on paper, we must work hard at bringing this to life by strengthening the band of social cohesion, cultural understanding and economic progression,” he said in his inaugural speech.
He highlighted that the country’s security condition, which is said to have worsened under his predecessor, would be his administration’s top priority.
“We shall defend the country from terror and all forms of criminality that threaten the peace and stability of our country,” he said, adding that his government will invest more in security personnel and provide “better equipment.”
In April, the World Bank reported that Nigeria’s economic growth is inadequate to alleviate the high levels of extreme poverty in the country, which the National Bureau of Statistics estimated to affect approximately 88.4 million people. The organization predicted a decline in Nigeria’s economic growth to 2.8% in 2023, compared to 3.3% in 2022, and highlighted several policy hurdles that the incoming government will confront, such as reduced crude oil output and high inflation.
President Tinubu has pledged that his government will improve job security and put an end to extreme poverty. “We shall remodel our economy to bring growth and achieve a GDP better than what we have,” he stated.
Tinubu was declared the winner of the February 25 election, succeeding Muhammadu Buhari, 80, who had served two terms as president on the All Progressives Congress ticket.
His victory is being contested by two of his main opponents, who have raised allegations of fraud. The Presidential Election Petition Court is scheduled to begin hearings on Tuesday, but a final ruling is not expected until September.
In response to the election, the president stated, “It was a hard-fought contest, and it was also fairly won.” He claimed that Nigeria has never had a “better quality” election than the recent one since the beginning of the Fourth Republic.
“Today, let us place Nigeria in our hearts as an indispensable home for all of us, regardless of ethnicity. I shall serve with prejudice towards none but compassion towards all,” he said. (RT)