President-elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu was sworn in on Monday, May 29, 2023 amid a national division, a struggling economy and growing insecurity.

According to local media, the ceremony took place under tight security in the 5,000 capacity Eagle Square hall in the capital, Abuja. Opposition parties having contested the results, there were fears of unrest.

Dignitaries from across the continent including presidents Paul Biya of Cameroon, Senegal’s Macky Sall, and Mohamed Bazoum of Niger were at the ceremony.

“We endured hardships that would have brought down other societies. Yet we have shouldered the heavy burden of arriving at that sublime moment when the prospect of a better future merges with our enhanced ability to create that future,” said Tinubu, who becomes Nigeria’s sixteenth president.

His inauguration is the culmination of a lifelong ambition to rule the West African country, but he faces enormous challenges.

He won the election with just 37% of the vote, the lowest of any Nigerian president elected since the transition from military to democratic rule in 1999.

Nigeria’s long-standing ethnic and religious divisions became even more polarized in February’s election amid violence and as critics and election observers raised concerns about irregularities and alleged attempts to deprive voters of their rights.

A legal challenge to the result, launched by his political rivals, is ongoing. However, the 71-year-old said he would unite the nation and called on those who did not support him to come on board.

“Those who didn’t support me, I ask that you not allow the disappointment of this moment to keep you from realizing the historic national progress we can make by working together,” he said in March.

AfrikPage with News Agencies