Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari has been sworn in as President after defeating former President Goodluck Jonathan in the last March plebiscite.
Buhari who once ruled the country after taking over power through a military coup d’état in 1983, is inheriting a country facing economic meltdown and incessant security challenges.
President Buhari took an oath of office in the presence of his predecessor who has been hailed for allowing a smooth handover of power.
Over 27 heads of state from across Africa attended the inauguration of Buhari and among them were South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame.
The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, United Kingdom’s foreign secretary Philip Hammond and France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius attended the event.
In his inauguration speech, Buhari said today marked a triumph for Nigeria and an occasion to celebrate her freedom and cherish her democracy.
“Nigerians have shown their commitment to democracy and are determined to entrench its culture,” added Buhari.
Buhari said Nigeria’s journey had not been an easy one but thanked the determination to the Nigerian people and strong support from friends abroad.
“Today we are a truly democratically elected government in place.”
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Buhari also hailed former President Jonathan for conceding power after his party lost to Buhari’s APC.
“I would like to thank President Goodluck Jonathan for his display statesmanship and certain a precedent for us for his support and cooperation during this transition,” he said.
“Together we cooperated to surprise the world that had come to expect only the worst from Nigeria. I hope this act of graciously accepting defeat by our outgoing president will become a standard political conduct in our country.”
Buhari also made veiled threats on the media calling on the practitioners to exercise their duties with responsibility.
“Nigerian media is the most vibrant media in Africa and my advice to the media including social media is that exercise your duties with responsibility and patriotism.”
The President also hinted on the need for robust economic policies going forward adding that there was need to address leakages and curb terror activities.
“The Nigerian economy is in deep trouble and will require careful management to bring it around and to tackle immediate challenges confronting us such as youth unemployment, power shortages and Boko Haram,” added Buhari.