2023 Presidential Inauguration Lecture: Uhuru Delivers Keynote Address
Former President Uhuru Kenyatta attended the 2023 Presidential Inauguration Lecture at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, Nigeria on Saturday, May 27.
During his keynote speech, Kenyatta emphasized the significant role democracy plays in driving progress within a nation, particularly in the African Continent. Drawing from his own tenure as a head of state for two terms, he candidly acknowledged the achievements, setbacks, and potential that arise from embracing democratic principles.
Kenyatta also highlighted the crucial need to address the underlying causes of conflict within the continent and among African nations, emphasizing that such endeavors are pivotal for the advancement of the entire continent.
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“There are fundamental issues weaponized to the detrimental of democratic growth, the first is negative ethnicity or tribalism, followed by religion and lastly economic greed,” Kenyatta said.
The former president conveyed his strong belief that if Africa sincerely tackled these challenges, it would unlock its rich mineral resources, agricultural opportunities, and abundant human capital. This, in turn, would uplift the well-being of its people and amplify the continent’s influence in the global community of nations.
Furthermore, Kenyatta appealed to Nigeria’s President-elect Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, urging him to foster unity among all Nigerians, regardless of religious, tribal, political, or other affiliations.
He emphasized the importance of embracing inclusivity and involving all political parties for the betterment of Nigeria.
“The contest is over, and the hard work of building a prosperous and unified Nigeria begins,” he said.
Recognizing the significant responsibility that awaits the President-elect upon assuming office, Kenyatta urged Tinubu to rise above the realm of tactical politics associated with elections and instead embrace the role of a visionary leader of Nigeria.
“I encourage you to surround yourself with the voices of those who will counterbalance the hardliners that feel entitled to a piece of your office. You will lose nothing and gain everything from reaching out across political, ethnic, and religious lines to those who may feel aggrieved by your victory in one way or another. Allow them to exhale and to be a part of your vision for a greater Nigeria,” he said.
Kenyatta extended his heartfelt congratulations to the people of Nigeria for successfully conducting peaceful elections, acknowledging the obstacles faced and the valuable lessons learned in their journey towards a mature democracy.
He commended all the participants in the electoral process for respectfully expressing their political disagreements within the established framework of constitutional order. He stressed the importance of rejecting divisive politics and instead embracing the strength that arises from the nation’s rich diversities.
The inaugural lecture, organized by the Nigeria Presidential Transition Council, is designed to bridge the existing divisions within Nigerian society, facilitate meaningful dialogue, and foster a sense of collective responsibility towards national development.