By Biodun Busari
The declaration of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto as winner of the presidential election has not only caused controversies in the East African country, but also in Nigeria, the most populous black nation.
Ruto, who won by 50.49% (7,176,141 votes) was declared the President-elect by the electoral agency, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Wafuka Chebukati on Monday.
However, Raila Odinga, who has contested five times, garnered 48.85% (6,942,930 votes), and rejected the result describing it as “null and void.”
Read Also: Kenya: 4 of 7 electoral body’s commissioners reject Ruto’s result
Similarly, four of the seven IEBC commissioners, led by vice chairperson Juliana Cherera, have faulted the results.
It has been a different narrative in Nigeria, the country that has arguably blazed the trail in politics and diplomatic relations in the African continent, as its people trade words ahead of the 2023 general elections using presidential candidates in Kenya as hypotheses.
On Monday, supporters of Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, popularly known as Obidients, likened Ruto to Obi who contested once and won, and Odinga to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, a serial contender.
Some of them also mentioned the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu in their tweets.
A tweep @firstladyship said: “William Ruto ran for the FIRST TIME in a two years old party. His boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta, endorsed his opponent, Raila Odinga. Yet, Ruto won.
“Peter Obi is running for the FIRST TIME against a serial contestant another endorsed by Buhari. God IS DIRECTING A MOVIE.
“Nigerians, PAY ATTENTION to what’s happening across Africa. Zambia and Kenya did it. Nigeria should be no different.
“William Ruto won in Kenya, against Raila Odinga (a 5th time serial contestant) like Atiku.”
“This is Raila Odinga’s 5th presidential race. This time, he had the organs of the state and the incumbent president behind him. O lu le (knocked down) for the 5th time.
“A time must come when one must tweak one’s ambition. Try, try, try again but six times? I’d say let it go now Baba,” @Omojuwa added.
In what seems like a reaction to the Obidients’ tweets, former President Goodluck Jonathan’s ex-aide, Reno Omokri, likened Wajackoyah to Obi who has many supporters on social media but came last among the four candidates.
Omokri said this on his verified Twitter page on Tuesday.
@renoomokri tweeted: “George Wajackoyah was Kenya’s Peter Obi to a T. He dominated social media. He won every Twitter poll.
“And just like Peter, he had a girl on Twitter that was insulting every prominent Kenyan that could have helped Wajackoyah win. Election came. Wajackoyah was LAST!”
According to IEBC, Wajackoyah, the 63-year-old Law professor came third with 0.44% having 61,969 votes while David Waihiga with 0.23% came last with 31.987 votes.
Meanwhile, both Atiku and Tinubu have reacted to Kenya’s results via their verified Twitter and Instagram handles respectively.
Atiku @atiku said, “Whatever issues there are about the election can always be resolved within the ambits of the law. As one, Kenyans will be the better for it.
“Congratulations to President-elect William Ruto @WilliamsRuto, and kudos to Raila Odinga @RailaOdinga for a closely fought contest.”
@officialasiwajubat posted, “I congratulate William Ruto and his UDA party on his election as the next president of Kenya.
“I also congratulate and commend the people of Kenya on the peaceful conduct of the elections.
“While urging all Kenyans to accept this result and shun violence, I enjoin them to seek peaceful adjudication of all disputes through the Kenyan legal system.
“This shall be the greatest testament to the progress Kenya has made in strengthening the core institutions of its democracy.
“It is my prayer that as President, Mr. Ruto will unite the country, bringing all Kenyans together to move their great nation forward and implementing the progressive policies and reforms desired by the people.
“I wish Mr. Ruto and all the people of Kenya the very best and look forward to a continued beneficial and cordial relationship between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Kenya.”