Buhari sworn in as Nigeria’s president for second term

President Buhari did not read a speech at the event, becoming the first elected president to do so since 1999
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari takes the oath of office during his inauguration for a second term in Abuja

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in for a second term in office on Wednesday, vowing once more to tackle crippling security threats and root out corruption in Africa’s largest economy.

The 76-year old leader, in power since 2015 and re-elected in February, took the oath of office for a second four-year term in the capital, Abuja.

“I do solemnly swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Buhari said, dressed in simple white robes and traditional embroidered cap. “I will preserve, protect and defend the constitution.”

Buhari took the Oath of Office at what officials called a “low-key” ceremony.

It included red-carpet arrival flanked by bagpipers into a stadium packed with dignitaries and military guard of honour.

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo was also sworn into office.

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Buhari was re-elected with 56 per cent of the vote in Africa’s most populous nation -and top oil producer -after a delayed poll that angered voters.

Most Nigerians have urged the leader to focus more on revamping the economy, creating jobs for the country’s huge number of unemployed youths and tackling rising insecurity that has seen kidnappings becoming rampant.

President Buhari did not read a speech at the event. Officials say that would be done on June 12, the country’s new Democracy Day that is now put in place to honour the expression of free will by Nigerians that led to the election of Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, popularly known as MKO in 1993.

Abiola had won the presidential election but was denied the honour of being announced the winner by the military regime headed by General Ibrahim Babangida. MKO later died in prison after being detained for years by General Sani Abacha in 1998.

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Buhari’s rival, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who came second with 41 per cent of the vote, has, along with other opposition leaders, launched an ongoing legal challenge to the victory.

They allege irregularities in the vote and have called it a “sham” result.

Buhari, a former army general who led a tough military government in the 1980s, campaigned on a promise to make the country safer.

He begins a final four-year term beset with numerous challenges.

Nigeria is struggling with multiple conflicts, including an Islamist insurgency in the northeast of the country.

His time in power has also been dogged by questions about his medical fitness. He has spent several months abroad for treatment of an unspecified condition.

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Buhari has touted himself as a “converted democrat” to persuade those with misgivings that his military past was history.

But in office, he has struggled to shake off claims of authoritarianism -particularly in his fight against corruption which critics say has been one-sided against perceived political opponents.

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