Elections are over, it’s time to unite Nigerians, Kenyatta tells Tinubu

Kenyatta urges Tinubu to transform from the tactical politics of an election and assume his role as the country’s leader.

Former Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, has reminded the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, of the enormity of the tasks that await him as he prepares to assume power on May 29, 2023.

He urged the incoming president to make efforts to unite Nigerians as the elections are now over.

Tinubu emerged as the winner of the most polarising presidential election in Nigeria’s democratic history. The contest was a three-horse race between candidates from each of the three dominant tribes in the country.

While his victory is still being challenged in court by the two main opposition parties who scored a higher total combined votes, the President-elect will step into the shoes of the outgoing President, Muhammadu Buhari, from next week Monday.

Speaking during the presidential inauguration lecture in Abuja on Saturday, May 27, 2023, the former Kenyan President said the onus now lies on Tinubu to unite every Nigerian regardless of religion, tribe, political and other affiliations.

Kenyatta, who was the keynote speaker during the event, urged the incoming President to transcend from the tactical politics of an election and assume his role as the leader of the country.

He said, “The contest is now over and the hard work of building a prosperous and unified Nigeria now begins.

“Upon assuming the office of president, you would be wise to transcend from the tactical politics of an election and assume your role as Nigeria’s vision bearer.

“This will demand a complete overhaul of the adversarial mindset that we as politicians are conditioned to embrace during the electoral process.

“As president, you must learn very quickly to lead those who love you and those who don’t with equal passion and commitment because now, you are the father of all.”

Given the division among Nigerians as a result of the outcome of the elections, Kenyatta urged Tinubu to see himself as the “symbol of unity” by reaching out to the opposition.

You would lose nothing and gain everything by reaching out across the political, ethnic, and religious lines to those who may feel aggrieved by your victory in one way or another.

“Please, allow them to exhale and be part of your vision for a greater Nigeria,” Kenyatta said.

While listing negative ethnicity, religious discrimination, and corruption as the three enemies of nationhood, the former Kenyan leader believed Tinubu can draw lessons from across the continent to build the courage needed to overcome those hills.

“As your fellow African, I look forward to a Nigeria that emerges from this transition ready to flex and fight for its rightful place on the global stage with both hands,” Kenyatta said.

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