• 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Source: Guardian Newspaper