President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the newly sworn-in President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, on his victory and inauguration.
In a congratulatory message issued by his Media Aide, Femi Adesina, in Abuja, on Friday, Buhari commended the government and people of DRC for their determination and commitment to democratic principles.
He noted that such commitment resulted in the first peaceful transfer of democratic power since independence in 1960.
The Nigerian leader and ECOWAS Chairman also saluted the Congolese people for peacefully exercising their franchise during the national elections in their country.
He urged all Congolese, especially political stakeholders to rally behind the new leader and support his vision to build ‘‘a modern, peaceful, democratic state for every citizen,’’ as succinctly expressed in his inauguration speech on Thursday.
He also acknowledged the important role played by former President Joseph Kabila in the historic electoral process and transition.
The President assured the new Congolese leader of Nigeria’s readiness to work with his government to consolidate peace, stability, reconciliation and development in the Central African country.
Félix Tshisekedi as been sworn in as president of DR Congo, with Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta the only African head of state at the swearing-in ceremony.
The Kenyan president was at the presidential palace in Kinshasa as the other 17 invited heads of state did not honour the invitation.
The first peaceful transition in the country in nearly 60 years still has many in doubt as they believe his opponent Martin Faylulu won the election and has been denied the office by a backroom deal between Kabila and Tshisekedi.
In a report by Concise News, the influential Catholic Church, which deployed election observers on voting day said the official data did not match its own numbers.
Fayulu’s appeal to the Constitutional Court for a vote re-count was rejected, and critics say the body is too close to outgoing President Kabila and lacks independence.
However, the outgoing president Kabila while addressing the nation Wednesday disclosed his satisfaction with the incoming president, says he has no regret.
Kabila pleaded with Congolese to rally round and show support to his successor.
The new president is mostly known for being the son of the late veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, who was regarded as one of DR Congo’s most important pro-democracy advocates.
The UDPS party President Tshisekedi leads were founded in 1982 by his father, who turned it into the largest opposition party. But President Tshisekedi, 55, insists he is not trying to rival his father.