Bola Tinubu sworn in as Nigeria’s 16th president, hints at full removal of fuel subsidy and tackle unemployment

Ade Ishola

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been sworn in as the 16th President of Nigeria, the most populous African nation.

Tinubu, 71, was sworn in alongside Vice President Kashim Shettima by Justice Kayode Ariwoola, the Chief Justice of Nigeria at an impressive ceremony at the Eagles Square in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Tinubu, a former Senator and Governor of Lagos State, who contested under the umbrella of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) won February’s presidential election with 37 per cent of voters in a keenly contested 3-horse race, making him the Nigerian president elected with the least vote-won since 1999, takes over from two-term President Muhammadu Buhari.

Justice Ariwoola administered the oath of office to Tinubu at 10.38 am while Shettima was sworn in at exactly 10:28 am.

Tinubu, accompanied by his wife, Oluremi and surrounded by Buhari and others swore to discharge his duties faithfully and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“I, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, do solemnly swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that I will preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So, help me, God,” he swore.

The swearing-in ceremony was witnessed by some world leaders and some former presidents of Nigeria. These included General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) and Goodluck Jonathan. Others at the historic event were Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Cote D’Ivoire; Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghana President;  Paul Kigame, Rwanda President; and Billy By-Nze, the new Prime Minister of Gabon.

Tinubu polled a total of 8,794,726 votes to defeat his closest rival Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled a total of 6,984,520 votes. Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) came third with 6,101,533 votes and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNPP came fourth with 1,496,687 votes

In his Inaugural Speech, Tinubu stated that his administration who be guided by five major principles involving the Rule of Law, security, economic revitalization, opportunities for youth and women and fighting corruption.

” The principles that will guide our administration are simple: 1. Nigeria will be impartially governed according to the constitution and the rule of law. 2. We shall defend the nation from terror and all forms of criminality that threaten the peace and stability of our country and our sub-region. 3. We shall remodel our economy to bring about growth and development through job creation, food security and an end to extreme poverty. 4. In our administration, Women and youth will feature prominently. And 5. Our government will continue to take proactive steps such as championing a credit culture to discourage corruption while strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of the various anti-corruption agencies,” he said.

Tinubu, whose electoral victory is being challenged in court by his two closest rivals- Atiku and Obi, in his inaugural speech, acknowledged the sacrifices and prayers of millions of Nigerians to make democracy endure in the country and the firm structure of democratic structures in the Nigeria.

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

“The peaceful transition from one government to another is now our political tradition. This handover symbolizes 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,” he said.

While pointing out the challenges ahead, he was quick to point the nation in the direction of his administration’s policy thrusts. Prominent of these was the economic front. He said his administration will work to grow the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), improve electricity power generation and distribution, provide the enabling environment for industrial growth and

Tinubu said it is no longer viable for the country to continue subsidizing petrol consumption while promising to invest the savings from petrol subsidy removal in critical infrastructure for the benefit of the generality of Nigerians.

“We commend the decision of the outgoing administration in phasing out the petrol subsidy regime which has increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor. Subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources. We shall instead re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions,” he said.

President Tinubu called on all Nigerians to work with the new administration for the growth and development of Nigeria.

“We must never allow the labour of those who came before us to wither in vain but to blossom and bring forth a better reality.

“Let us take the next great step in the journey they began and believed in.

“Today, let us recommit our very selves to placing Nigeria in our hearts as the indispensable home for each and every one of us regardless of creed, ethnicity, or place of birth.

“My supporters, I thank you. To those who voted otherwise, I extend my hand across the political divide. I ask you to grasp it in national affinity and brotherhood. For me, political colouration has faded away. All I see are Nigerians.

“May we uphold these fitting and excellent notions as the new Nigerian ideal,” the president said.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: