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I will be president for all, says Biden

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Pledges to unite the country
• Trump promises “to be back in some form’ in farewell speech
• Nigerian-Americans, Owolewa, Agbaje emerge U.S. lawmakers
• Buhari congratulates Biden, seeks partnership against terrorism

In a brief and glorious moment, Joe Biden yesterday took the oath of office as the 46th President of the United States of America and pledged to work for all Americans, including those who did not support his campaign.

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The President took his oath of office using the 127 years old family Bible with his wife, Jill, at his side. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Justice John Roberts swore him in.
 
“My whole soul is in this. We have much to repair, much to restore, and much to heal. Unity wins out over division throughout U.S. history,” he said, adding that the will of the people had been heard.

US President Joe Biden delivers his inauguration speech on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. - Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the US. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP)

  
He described the historic moment as “America’s day’.
  
The new President stressed the need for unity and vowed to defeat what he described as internal terrorism. In a veiled reference to the crisis that trailed his electoral victory, he called for peace and advised that politics must not be violent.
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Biden also observed some seconds of prayers for the repose of the soul of over 400, 000 Americans who have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and for their families.
  
His said: “Today, we celebrate the triumph, not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy. The will of the people has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded. We have learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.
 
“I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did. For all those who supported our campaign, I’m humbled by the faith you placed in us. To all those who did not support us, let me say this. Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart! If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably within the guardrails of our republic is perhaps this nation’s greatest strength. Yet hear me clearly. Disagreement must not lead to disunity. And I pledge this to you. I will be a president for all Americans. All Americans. And I promise you, I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.”
  
Congratulatory messages came in from all around the world. Former president, Barack Obama tweeted a message of support “Congratulations to my friend, President Joe Biden! This is your time.”
 
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Former presidents Clinton and Bush were also in attendance.
 
Before his swearing-in, Lady Gaga performed the National Anthem. Jennifer Lopez performed “America the Beautiful’ while Garth Brooks performed ‘Amazing Grace’. African American, Amanda Gorman, recited a poem. 
 
Joe Biden and his wife Jill attended Mass at the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle in Washington DC.
 
Congressional leaders, Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were also among those who attended the service.
 
Biden is the second Roman Catholic president in U.S. history, following fellow Democrat John F. Kennedy.
 
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The cathedral was the venue for Kennedy’s funeral Mass after his assassination in November 1963.

Washigton DC and states across the country were under strict and heightened security over fears of possible new threats.

MEANWHILE, former president of the United States, Donald Trump, during his farewell speech promised to be back in some form, adding that he would always fight for the people.
 
He added that his greatest honour and privilege had been to be the president of the nation. He also noted that the future would be brighter for America.
 
After uncertainty, given his decision to skip the inauguration, a White House spokesman confirmed that the departing president has left his successor a letter.

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In his farewell remarks from the White House, he did not mention Biden’s name. It should be noted that the last time a president-skipped inauguration was in 1869.
  
Vice President Kamala Harris made history as the first female, first black, and first South Asian vice president.
  
As she prepared to take up the role, she paid tribute to women who she said came before her.
  
“I am here today because of the women who came before me. I stand on their shoulders,” she told her followers.
 
Biden has announced the executive actions he would take immediately he was sworn in.
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He will cease action to withdraw from the World Health Organisation (WHO), with U.S. virus expert Dr. Anthony Fauci set to participate in a WHO international executive board meeting this week on behalf of the U.S.
 
He will sign an executive order to centralise the national Covid-19 response - an order to coordinate the distribution of protective equipment, vaccines, and tests.
 
He will ask federal agencies to extend moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures, as well as extending a pause on payments of federal student loans.
  
He will launch a “100 Days Masking Challenge” asking U.S. citizens to mask up for 100 days. He will also sign an executive order requiring masks and distancing on all federal properties.
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Biden will also take immediate action to tackle the climate crisis, including signing an instrument, sent to the UN later yesterday, to rejoin the Paris climate agreement.
 
He will sign an executive order to “rollback” President Trump’s environmental actions across the last four years. He wants agencies to review emissions standards and work to better protect national treasures, including a moratorium on oil and gas leasing activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
 
He will also review individual decisions impacting climate, including revoking a presidential permit given to the Keystone XL pipeline.

SHOWING his support for the black community, Biden placed a call to a Nigerian family, Dr. Akinade and his two daughters, Josephine and Beatrice, who live in Illinois, and thanked them for their support during the election that culminated in his victory as the 46th president of the United States.

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During Biden’s conversation with the Nigerians, Akinade said he sees the President as a father to the whole nation and the world, being a man of his words with greater intentions. Biden was a young senator in the 70s.
 
Akinade believes it is in his gene to build and reform the country. They were amazed as the president promised to invite them to the White House as soon as the virus is subdued.
  
“I will be delighted if this is real because it will be historical as dreams come true. I wish you the best in your presidency,” he enthused.
  
Many Nigerians got elected to various levels during the November 3rd elections.
 
Congratulations roll in for two Nigerians, who won the election to become lawmakers for the U.S.
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Oye Owolewa is a democrat who became the first Nigerian to emerge as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, while Esther Agbaje; a democrat also became the first Nigerian-American to emerge as a Minnesota legislator.
 
Agbaje was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. She studied Law at Harvard Law School and had worked at the U.S. Department of State as Foreign Affairs Officer.
 
Owolewa on the other hand hails from the Omu-Aran Local Government Area of Kwara State, Nigeria. He bagged his PhD at Northeastern University, Boston. He is a politician who became a commissioner at Southeast Washington D.C, 2018.
  
Abike Dabiri- Erewa of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) said the winners are role models to the youths and good ambassadors of Nigeria.
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“Emerging winners as Nigerians show they are being entrusted with positions of power”, she declared.
  
Biden was elected president of the U.S. on November 3, 2020, with an overwhelming majority vote over the then President Donald Trump.
 
He won the battleground state of Pennsylvania to reach the 270 votes needed to secure a majority in the Electoral College. Trump rejected the outcome, saying his opponent was “rushing to falsely pose as the winner,” a position he still held on to and for which he avoided the inauguration ceremony yesterday.

MEANWHILE, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, welcomed the inauguration of Vice President Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President and Vice President of the United States of America and expressed hope that their tenure would mark a strong point of cooperation and support for Nigeria and the African continent.
 
He said: “We look forward to the Biden presidency with great hope and optimism for the strengthening of existing cordial relationships, working together to tackle global terrorism, climate change, poverty and improvement of economic ties and expansion of trade.”

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