Former Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta has urged President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to seek to unite the country irrespective of ethnic, political and religious cleavages that may exist.
Kenyatta gave the admonition at the weekend at the inauguration delivered at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
The former Kenyan President noted that since the general elections have been won and lost, it is imperative for Tinubu to unite all behind himself in the onerous task to transform the country.
He said: “The contest is now over and the hard work of building a prosperous and unified Nigeria now begins. Upon assuming the office of President, you would be wise to transcend from the tactical politics of an election and assume your role as Nigeria’s vision bearer.”
In his own remarks, Tinubu highlighted the indispensable role of democracy as the cornerstone for the nation’s progress and prosperity.
Represented by Vice-President-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima, Tinubu sought the support of all Nigerians for his administration.
“Distinguished guests, democracy is more than a system of governance; it is the very lifeblood that empowers a nation to flourish and thrive.
“We stand at the precipice of a new era, where the ideals of democracy will guide our path towards sustainable development,” Tinubu said.
Tinubu while embracing his African identity, reaffirmed his love for the continent. He also recognized the collective efforts of Nigerians and Africans in shaping their democratic political cultures and institutions, tailored to the unique conditions and challenges faced by their societies.
He articulated the essence of democracy, emphasizing that it transcends being a mere form of government. “Democracy, my fellow countrymen, is not only a political system; it is a way of life. It embodies a distinctive code of thought and conduct, demanding the utmost integrity and self-improvement from leaders,” he said.
Stating the paradoxical nature of democracy, the President-elect noted that while it guarantees freedom, its survival hinges on responsible and measured use of that freedom, adding that democracy, as an ever-evolving concept, empowers the majority to express their will while safeguarding the fundamental interests of the minority.
“Our democracy is not an abstract ideal; it is a practical vessel that will propel our nation to new heights in every facet of our collective existence,” Tinubu added.
Drawing insights from Nigeria’s national experience, he acknowledged the merits of democracy even in its imperfect manifestations, stressing that it surpasses the most perfect dictatorship in terms of justice, humanity, and productivity.
He also mentioned the importance of fostering open forums for discussion and debate, where the best ideas and policies can enter the national discourse and capture the imagination of the people. He pledged to utilize democratic institutions not only to safeguard political and civil rights but also to drive comprehensive economic reforms that engender broad-based prosperity, create employment opportunities, and unlock the nation’s untapped potential.
“Today, I stand before you, ready to dedicate my entire being to the service of our great nation and the African continent,” the President-elect proclaimed resolutely.
He expressed deep gratitude to President Kenyatta for his exceptional address, which further invigorated his commitment to the transformative power of democracy.
In attendance at the event were the National Chairman of APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu; Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Idris Wase; Secretary to the Government of Federation, Boss Mustapha.
Royal fathers in attendance were Sultan Mohammed Abubakar Sa’ad of Sokoto and Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi.
Among other dignitaries were Bishop Mathew Kukah; President of Africa Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina and Deputy Secretary-General of United Nations, Amina Muhammed.
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