Niger Swears-in President Mohammed Bazoum

Mohamed Bazoum has taken the oath of office as President of Niger republic. The swearing-in ceremony was held at the Mahatma Gandhi conference centre in Niamey Friday afternoon. It comes despite a failed coup earlier this week.

President Mohamed Bazoum takes oath of office

Mohamed Bazoum, democratically elected in the second round of the presidential election in Niger, has been sworn in on Friday, April 2, 2021 at the Mahatma Gandhi conference centre in Niamey. Thirteen heads of state and government including Togo’s Faure Gnassingbé were in attendance at the ceremony.

Fully packed Mahatma Gandhi conference centre in Niamey

As the first democratic transition in its 60 years of independence, the historic inauguration of Mohamed Bazoum was received in fanfare and enthusiasm.   

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It comes in the aftermath of an attempted coup d’état Tuesday night after a military unit tried to seize the presidential palace. The assailants, from a nearby air base were greeted by heavy shelling and gunfire by the presidential guards.

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and his team arriving Niamey

President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbé posted on his Twitter page: “I arrived today in Niamey where I participate in the swearing-in ceremony of the elected President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, to whom I extend my warm congratulations. I want to assure him of my support and that of the Togolese government to consolidate our cooperation links”

Among high-powered dignitaries in attendance was the President of Burkina Faso President Roch Kabore, Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay, Algeria’s Prime Minister, Kano State Governor Umar Ganduje, Governors of Borno State, Kebbi State, Sokoto State, Katsina State in Nigeria among others.

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Mohammed Bazoum’s rival and contender in the presidential contest, Mahamane Ousmane is still contesting the results and recently called on the opposition to stay away from the national assembly. He also urged the army to disregard orders from an “illegal and illegitimate” authority.

Niger’s main problem since independence, however, has been the weakness of its educational system, Bazoum promised to prioritise education reforms as well as national security.

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