Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan became the country’s 14th head of state Sunday as he was sworn in for his first full term.
Mr. Jonathan took the oath of office from Chief Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu in front of thousands of dignitaries in the capital, Abuja. Those in attendance included the leaders of Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Senegal, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
In his inaugural speech, the new Nigerian leader pledged to uproot corruption and improve education and employment in the country, as well as to fight for democracy across Africa. He said he represents “the shared aspirations of all Nigerians.”
President Jonathan said he also plans to reform the nation’s oil sector and strengthen the amnesty program for former militants in the oil-rich Niger Delta.
Mr. Jonathan came to power last year following the death of the former leader Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. He was elected the country’s new head of state in elections last month that the opposition says were fraudulent.
Former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari is challenging the vote in court, saying the vote was rigged through electoral commission computers that deflated his share of votes in northern states and inflated Mr. Jonathan’s numbers in the south.
But most international and domestic observers believe the presidential, gubernatorial, and legislative elections were some of Nigeria’s fairest ever.
Mr. Jonathan’s election campaign was opposed by northern Muslims, who thought another Muslim should be elected to replace Mr. Yar’Adua.
Nigeria’s ruling People’s Democratic Party has a tradition of rotating its presidential nominations between Muslims from the north and Christians from the south.
Mr. Jonathan, a Christian, has a Muslim vice-president, Mohammed Namadi Sambo, who also took the oath of office Sunday. voa