Thirty one years after being ousted in a military coup, Muhammadu Buhari has been sworn-in by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, as the new civilian President of Nigeria.
The inauguration of Buhari, a retired General, who won the March 28 presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, brought to an end the 16-year reign of the Peoples Democratic Party on the political landscape of the nation and the five-year Presidency of Goodluck Jonathan, who became President in May, 2010.
Mahmud swore-in Buhari, who became the Head of State in a December 31, 1983 coup that ended three-month second term reign of Second Republic President, Shehu Shagari, at 10.51am on Friday, marking the beginning of his four-year tenure.
The new President took his oath of office and oath of allegiance, watched closely by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who was stepping out of office, about 12 minutes after Prof. Yemi Osinbajo took his oath as the new Vice President.
Osinbajo replaces Namadi Sambo, who became the Vice President to Jonathan in May, 2010.
Jonathan and Buhari subsequently performed the official handing over ceremony by receiving and releasing the National Flag and the Defence Flag, to give authority to the new President’s office as the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
Several foreign Presidents and representatives of governments graced the occasion, held under the scorching sun at the Eagle Square, Abuja, which was filled to capacity. Some guests had to watch the ceremony standing.
Secretary of State John Kerry led the US delegation while notable African Presidents include Jacob Zuma of South Africa; Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe; John Mahama of Ghana; Yayaha Djameh of Gambia among several others.