Nigeria’s former President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has congratulated Kenya’s president-elect, Mr. William Ruto on his emergence as the winner of Kenya’s August 9, 2022, presidential election. The Nigerian leader however urged the new Kenyan leader to run an inclusive government and seek to unite Kenyans.
The former president of Nigeria who stated this in a goodwill message he sent to Ruto shortly after the Kenyan Supreme Court affirmed his victory, also charged him to be magnanimous in victory and leverage the pervading peaceful atmosphere to stabilise Kenya and establish the country on the path of sustainable economic growth.
Kenya’s Supreme Court yesterday upheld results declaring William Ruto winner of last month’s presidential elections. Ruto, 55, won with 50.49 per cent of the vote against his rival Raila Odinga’s 48.85 per cent, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had announced in August.
The announcement of the results then descended into chaos in an otherwise peaceful election process when four members of the electoral commission rejected them, declaring the tallying “opaque.”
Odinga, 77, also later disputed the results in the Supreme Court alleging that hackers had accessed the electoral body’s website, deducted his votes and added them to Ruto’s, among other claims of irregularities, according to CNN.
His party, the Azimio La Umoja (Aspiration to Unite) coalition, claimed it had enough evidence in the petition to prove misconduct by the electoral commission after the August 9 election. However, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected his claims and upheld the results announced by the IEBC.
Chief Justice Martha Koome, delivering the ruling yesterday, said the court found no evidence of tampering of results via hacking and that the, “IEBC carried out the verification, tallying, and declaration of results in accordance with the provided constitutional law.”
Reacting to the decision, Ruto posted a Bible verse on Twitter, “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” — Mark 10:27.”
While Odinga posted on the platform that he, “vehemently disagreed” with the decision and linked to a longer statement.
“We have always stood for the rule of law and the constitution in this regard, we respect the opinion of the court although we vehemently disagree with their decision today,” he added.
Security was tight ahead of the announcement and Kenya’s security forces remain on high alert in areas of the country where violence could break out. Odinga’s legal team had asked the court to either declare him winner or order a re-election.
This was Odinga’s fifth time running and his third time challenging his loss in presidential elections through the Supreme Court, having filed a case after the last two elections in 2013 and 2017.
But Jonathan in his congratulatory message, which was signed by his Special Adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, wrote: “I congratulate His Excellency William Ruto for his emergence as the winner of Kenya’s August 9, 2022, Presidential election, a victory that has just been affirmed by Kenyan Supreme Court of the Republic of Kenya.
“I believe that your victory after the general elections is a testament to your resilience and service as a Vice President in the last ten years, and will contribute to the deepening of the roots of democracy in Kenya.
“Your Excellency, having led a pre-election assessment mission to Kenya and an election observation mission to the just-concluded elections, I am in a good position to note that we are all relieved that the peaceful election outcome has mitigated the tension, uncertainty and obvious division that had welled up in Kenya ahead of the polling.
“I urge you to be magnanimous in victory and leverage the pervading peaceful atmosphere to stabilise your nation by seeking to reassure Kenyans that you will run a government of national unity that will embrace, accommodate and heal all citizens and strongly establish Kenya on the path of sustainable economic growth.
“I believe that your leadership, guided by your rich experience, wisdom, and sincere Pan-African spirit, will also bring about closer cooperation among African leaders to enhance the attainment of the desired political stability, peace, and development on the continent. I wish you and the people of the Republic of Kenya a successful transition, peace, and happiness under your tenure.”