William Ruto sworn in as Kenya’s President

Following a closely contested but mainly peaceful election in which William Ruto defeated Raila Odinga by a razor-thin margin, Ruto was sworn in as Kenya’s fifth president on Tuesday, September 13.

At the occasion, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo of Nigeria is standing in for President Muhammadu Buhari in front of tens of thousands of spectators at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi.

Ambassador Zubairu Dada, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and Senator Babafemi Ojudu, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, traveled with the Vice President on this trip.

The 55-year-old took a Bible in his palm and vowed to uphold and defend the nation’s constitution.

Defeated candidate Raila Odinga did not attend, saying as he had “serious concerns” about his opponent’s victory.

Mr Ruto won the election with 50.5% of the vote, to Mr Odinga’s 48.8%. Mr Odinga has alleged that the result was rigged, but the Supreme Court has ruled the election was free and fair.

Ruto’s campaign had portrayed him as a “hustler” with a humble background of going barefoot and selling chickens by the roadside, a counterpoint to the political dynasties represented by Kenyatta and Odinga. But Ruto received powerful political mentoring as a young man from former President Daniel arap Moi, who oversaw a one-party state for years before Kenyans successfully pushed for multiparty elections.

Ruto now speaks of democracy and has vowed there will be no retaliation against dissenting voices.

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