WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
Because Buhari’s second-term inauguration is consequential for the continent being the biggest economy on the continent. With Buhari’s inauguration, Nigeria has proven that its democracy has deepened with 20 years of unbroken civilian rule, despite the violence and incendiary rhetoric that threatened to scuttle its democracy during the 2019 elections. With the election over, despite the pending court case challenging his electoral victory, Buhari can settle down to delivering on his election promises, including reducing corruption, improving security, and growing the economy.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn-in this morning as president to begin his second and last presidential term.
He first won the presidency in 2015, defeating incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan, which was the first time in Nigeria’s troubled political history that an opposition party will defeat the ruling party. Jonathan is a Christian from the minority Ijaw ethnic group in the south and Buhari is a Muslim from minority ethnic groups – Fulani and Kanuri – from the north of the country. However, the Fulani has always had a close political and sociocultural relationship with the majority Hausa as a result of which both ethnic groups are typically lumped together as one, the Hausa-Fulani.
Nigeria’s constitution, which allows a maximum of two four-year presidential terms, makes it ineligible for Buhari, who is 76 years, to seek a third term.
President Buhari was inaugurated in a very low-key event at Eagle Square in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, by the country’s acting Chief Justice, Tanko Muhammad, shortly after Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo took his oath of office.
The election that gave Buhari victory is being challenged in court by the main opposition party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which produced Nigeria’s presidents from 1999 to 2015. Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s presidential flag bearer is seeking a declaration that he won the election based on independent, but uncorroborated results from the server of the election umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The oath-taking event is uncharacteristically low-key, however, likely due to Buhari changing the date for the national democracy day from May 29 to June 12 to recognize Chief Moshood Abiola, who won the June 12 1993 presidential elections that was adjudged to be the freest and fairest in the country’s history, but which was inexplicably annulled by the military junta led by General Ibrahim Babangida.
Abiola and civil society groups waged a persistent struggle for many years to validate the election until his untimely death in 1998 shortly after the death of Maximum dictator Sani Abacha, who kept Abiola in prison for declaring himself as president.
It is expected that Buhari’s party, All Progressives Congress (APC), will roll out the drums to celebrate Buhari’s inauguration at the same time that the country celebrates democracy on June 12 with many foreign dignitaries, including African leaders, expected to attend.
Full Text of the oaths sworn to by President Buhari
OATH OF ALLEGIANCE
I, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, do solemnly swear/affirm 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.
OATH OF OFFICE OF PRESIDENT
I, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, do solemnly swear/affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria: that as President
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I will discharge my duties to the best of my ability, faithfully and in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the law,
… and always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that I will strive to preserve the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
… that I will not al- low my personal interest to influence my official conduct or my official decisions; that I will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
… that I will abide by the Code of Conduct contained in the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that in all circumstances, I will do right to all manner of people, according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will;
… that I will not directly or indirectly communicate or reveal to any person any matter which shall be brought under my consideration or shall become known to me as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, except as may be required for the due discharge of my duties as President;
… and that I will devote myself to the service and well-being of the people of Nigeria. So help me God.