NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20 – President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Tuesday joined world leaders in congratulating the new US leader Barack Obama, America’s 44th President.
In a message of goodwill, President Kibaki said Obama had made a remarkable journey to become the leader of America, adding that the election victory was well deserved.
“On behalf of the Government, the people of Kenya and on my own behalf, I extend our message of best wishes to you on the auspicious occasion of your inauguration as the 44th President of the United States of America,” the statement from State House Nairobi said.
President Kibaki noted that through the remarkable electioneering journey, the new US Head of State inspired many young and old people not only in America, but also around the world, with the word of hope.
“As you commence your first term in office, I’m confident that you will succeed in making USA and indeed the world a better place for humanity,” President Kibaki said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Odinga said Obama was taking over the helm as the USA and the whole planet was in peril.
“Every once in a long time, it falls on a generation or an individual to rise and shoulder the challenges of their nation and the whole world; the weight of hope and the burden of expectation that the world has thrust onto Mr Obama’s shoulders as he takes over power is awesome,” said Mr Odinga.
The Premier said he hoped Mr Obama would rise to the challenge of unifying a polarised world.
“The economy is down everywhere. There are wars between nations, some rising from animosity that began long before Mr Obama was born. There is also an unending unconventional war with an invisible enemy called terrorism,” the Premier said.
He said he hoped the Obama administration would support democracy, democratic institutions and democratic transfer of power across the world.
“Mr Obama comes in after generations of civil rights activists pushed for fairness and equality among the races. I have no doubt that Mr Obama will prove that the efforts that went into this push were not in vain. I also have no doubt that Mr Obama will be equal to all the other tasks ahead.”
Mr Odinga said he was optimistic that the new President would support fair trade among nations and give a chance for diplomacy in areas of conflict.
The sentiment was supported by President Mwai Kibaki who said Kenya looked forward to even stronger relations in areas of mutual benefit to the two countries.
Obama ascended to the White House Office at 8.05pm Kenya time.