By Chijioke Okoronkwo, Nairobi.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says the swearing of William Ruto as the fifth President of Kenya is a testament of what robust institutions can do in a democracy.
Osinbajo, who was in Nairobi on Tuesday to represent Nigeria at the Kenyan presidential inauguration, spoke with newsmen shortly before departing for Abuja, Nigeria.
Chief Justice Martha Koome swore in Ruto at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, Nairobi.
Ruto, who succeeded President Uhuru Kenyatta, won the Aug. 9 presidential election after defeating rival, Raila Odinga.
Kenyan Supreme Court, on Sept. 5, upheld Ruto’s election.
Osinbajo described the inauguration of Ruto as a celebration of democracy and democratic institutions in Africa.
He said: “Ruto’s inauguration is a celebration of democracy and the reasons are obvious; we found a situation where the elections and campaigns were quite fractious.
“There were quite a bit of hostilities here and there, but the institutions held up – Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) — the equivalent of our own INEC, and the judiciary.
“They held up and ensured that not only were processes properly followed but also that justice was done.
“Whenever we talk about the celebration of democracy, we are really talking about the celebration of our institutions, the institutions that guard democracy and the rule of law.
“I think that what we have seen here in Kenya and the swearing-in of Ruto is really evidence of robust institutions doing what they ought to do.’’
According to him, the Kenyan experience was a great example for democracy in Africa.
Osinbajo said that everybody was extremely pleased, as evident in the turnout of African leaders.
“We are all extremely pleased, and am sure you have seen from all of the African Heads of State and Governments and their representatives who are present here today, that there is an atmosphere of elation and joy, because this worked,” he said
No fewer than 20 presidents from Africa, including those of Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Zimbabwe and Republic of Congo, attended President Ruto’s inauguration.