William Ruto was on Tuesday September 13, sworn in as Kenya’s fifth president following his narrow victory over Raila Odinga in a bitterly fought but largely peaceful election.
Tens of thousands of spectators turned up at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi to witness the event which Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is representing President Muhammadu Buhari at.
The Vice President was accompanied on the trip by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, and the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu.
With his hand on a Bible, the 55-year-old swore to preserve and protect the country’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.