Buhari, Kenyatta Urge Tinubu To Unite Nigerians

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Outgoing President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) and former Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, on Saturday, tasked the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to work towards uniting Nigerians irrespective of ethnic and political affiliation.

Both leaders gave the charge during the Inauguration Lecture at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.

This was contained in the statement issued on Saturday by Tinubu’s media officer, Tunde Rahman.

The appeal is coming barely 48 hours before the swearing ceremony of the President-elect and his Vice President-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima, at the popular Eagle Square in Abuja.

In his keynote address, Kenyatta pleaded with the incoming president of Nigeria to unite the country irrespective of ethnic, political, and religious cleavages that may exist.

“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.”

The outgoing president also re-echoed Kenyatta’s appeal, stressing that the inauguration lecture highlighted the imperatives of democratic governance, nation-building, and various challenges that confront the socio-political fabrics of Nigeria.

Buhari emphasised that Nigerians can overcome their differences if they agree to work together and practice true democracy.

He said, “We have learnt that democracy is not just a system of governance. It is a way of life. 

True democracy is when the voices of people are heard. Our nation’s progress rest on inclusivity, unity and not leaving any citizen behind, and ensuring every citizen enjoy the dividends of good governance.

“We must heed the lessons of this lecture and translate them into action. We must fight against corruption in all its form. We must remain united. Our diversity is our strength. We can overcome our differences and forge a common cause towards progress.”

On his part, the incoming president spoke extensively on the significance of democracy in driving Nigeria’s sustainable development.

The President-elect, who was represented by Shettima, used the opportunity to call on Nigerians to stand together with the incoming administration to birth a better country.

“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,” he said.

Tinubu, while embracing his African identity, 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.

“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. 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.

“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.

The lecture was graced by the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Senator Abdullahi Adamu; Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Idris Wase; Secretary to the Government of Federation, Boss Mustapha; Sultan Mohammed Abubakar Sa’ad of Sokoto; Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi; popular Catholic Bishop Mathew Kukah; President of Africa Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina and Deputy Secretary-General of United Nations, Amina Muhammed.

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