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Joe Biden’s inauguration speech in full: ‘We will write an American story of hope’

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Chief Justice Roberts, Vice-President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Vice-President Pence. My distinguished guests, my fellow Americans.

This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve. Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested a new and America has risen to the challenge. Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause, a cause of democracy. The people – the will of the people – has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded.

We’ve learned again that democracy is precious, democracy is fragile and, at this hour my friends, democracy has prevailed. So now on this hallowed ground where just a few days ago violence sought to shake the Capitol’s very foundations, we come together as one nation under God – indivisible – to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.

As we look ahead in our uniquely American way, restless, bold, optimistic, and set our sights on a nation we know we can be and must be, I thank my predecessors of both parties. I thank them from the bottom of my heart. And I know the resilience of our Constitution and the strength, the strength of our nation, as does President Carter, who I spoke with last night who cannot be with us today, but who we salute for his lifetime of service.

I’ve just taken a sacred oath each of those patriots have taken. The oath first sworn by George Washington. But the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us. On we the people who seek a more perfect union. This is a great nation, we are good people. And over the centuries through storm and strife in peace and in war we’ve come so far. But we still have far to go.

We’ll press forward with speed and urgency for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibility. Much to do, much to heal, much to restore, much to build and much to gain. Few people in our nation’s history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we’re in now. A once in a century virus that silently stalks the country has taken as many lives in one year as in all of World War Two.

Millions of jobs have been lost. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed. A cry for racial justice, some 400 years in the making, moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer. A cry for survival comes from the planet itself, a cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear now. The rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism, that we must confront and we will defeat.

To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy – unity. Unity. In another January on New Year’s Day in 1863 Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. When he put pen to paper the president said, and I quote, ‘if my name ever goes down in history, it’ll be for this act, and my whole soul is in it’.

My whole soul is in it today, on this January day. My whole soul is in this. Bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause. Uniting to fight the foes we face – anger, resentment and hatred. Extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness, and hopelessness.

With unity we can do great things, important things. We can right wrongs, we can put people to work in good jobs, we can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus, we can rebuild work, we can rebuild the middle class and make work secure, we can secure racial justice and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world.

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I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. But I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal, that we are all created equal, and the harsh ugly reality that racism, nativism and fear have torn us apart. The battle is perennial and victory is never secure.

Through civil war, the Great Depression, World War, 9/11, through struggle, sacrifice, and setback, our better angels have always prevailed. In each of our moments enough of us have come together to carry all of us forward and we can do that now. History, faith and reason show the way. The way of unity.

We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbours. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature. For without unity there is no peace, only bitterness and fury, no progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge. And unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America.

If we do that, I guarantee we will not failed. We have never, ever, ever, ever failed in America when we’ve acted together. And so today at this time in this place, let’s start afresh, all of us. Let’s begin to listen to one another again, hear one another, see one another. Show respect to one another. Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war and we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.

My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this. We have to be better than this and I believe America is so much better than this. Just look around. Here we stand in the shadow of the Capitol dome. As mentioned earlier, completed in the shadow of the Civil War. When the union itself was literally hanging in the balance. We endure, we prevail. Here we stand, looking out on the great Mall, where Dr King spoke of his dream.

Here we stand, where 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote. And today we mark the swearing in of the first woman elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris. Don’t tell me things can change. Here we stand where heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion rest in eternal peace.

And here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground. It did not happen, it will never happen, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Not ever. To 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 us 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 peacefully. And the guardrail of our democracy is perhaps our nation’s greatest strength. If you hear me clearly, disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you. I will be a President for all Americans, all Americans. And I promise you I will fight for those who did not support me as for those who did.

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Many centuries ago, St Augustine – the saint of my church – wrote that a people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love. Defined by the common objects of their love. What are the common objects we as Americans love, that define us as Americans? I think we know. Opportunity, security, liberty, dignity, respect, honour, and yes, the truth.

Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies. Lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and a responsibility as citizens as Americans and especially as leaders. Leaders who are pledged to honour our Constitution to protect our nation. To defend the truth and defeat the lies.

Look, I understand that many of my fellow Americans view the future with fear and trepidation. I understand they worry about their jobs. I understand like their dad they lay in bed at night staring at the ceiling thinking: ‘Can I keep my healthcare? Can I pay my mortgage?’ Thinking about their families, about what comes next. I promise you, I get it. But the answer’s not to turn inward. To retreat into competing factions. Distrusting those who don’t look like you, or worship the way you do, who don’t get their news from the same source as you do.

We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts, if we show a little tolerance and humility, and if we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes, as my mom would say. Just for a moment, stand in their shoes.

Because here’s the thing about life. There’s no accounting for what fate will deal you. Some days you need a hand. There are other days when we’re called to lend a hand. That’s how it has to be, that’s what we do for one another. And if we are that way our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future. And we can still disagree.

My fellow Americans, in the work ahead of us we’re going to need each other. We need all our strength to persevere through this dark winter. We’re entering what may be the darkest and deadliest period of the virus. We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation, one nation. And I promise this, as the Bible says, ‘Weeping may endure for a night, joy cometh in the morning’. We will get through this together. Together.

Look folks, all my colleagues I serve with in the House and the Senate up here, we all understand the world is watching. Watching all of us today. So here’s my message to those beyond our borders. America has been tested and we’ve come out stronger for it. We will repair our alliances, and engage with the world once again. Not to meet yesterday’s challenges but today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. And we’ll lead not merely by the example of our power but the power of our example.

Fellow Americans, moms, dads, sons, daughters, friends, neighbours and co-workers. We will honour them by becoming the people and the nation we can and should be. So I ask you let’s say a silent prayer for those who lost their lives, those left behind and for our country. Amen.

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Folks, it’s a time of testing. We face an attack on our democracy, and on truth, a raging virus, a stinging inequity, systemic racism, a climate in crisis, America’s role in the world. Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways. But the fact is we face them all at once, presenting this nation with one of the greatest responsibilities we’ve had. Now we’re going to be tested. Are we going to step up?

It’s time for boldness for there is so much to do. And this is certain, I promise you. We will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era. We will rise to the occasion. Will we master this rare and difficult hour? Will we meet our obligations and pass along a new and better world to our children? I believe we must and I’m sure you do as well. I believe we will, and when we do, we’ll write the next great chapter in the history of the United States of America. The American story.

A story that might sound like a song that means a lot to me, it’s called American Anthem. And there’s one verse that stands out at least for me and it goes like this: ‘The work and prayers of century have brought us to this day, which shall be our legacy, what will our children say? Let me know in my heart when my days are through, America, America, I gave my best to you.’

Let us add our own work and prayers to the unfolding story of our great nation. If we do this, then when our days are through, our children and our children’s children will say of us: ‘They gave their best, they did their duty, they healed a broken land.’

My fellow Americans I close the day where I began, with a sacred oath. Before God and all of you, I give you my word. I will always level with you. I will defend the Constitution, I’ll defend our democracy. I’ll defend America and I will give all – all of you – keep everything I do in your service. Thinking not of power but of possibilities. Not of personal interest but of public good.

And together we will write an American story of hope, not fear. Of unity not division, of light not darkness. A story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness. May this be the story that guides us. The story that inspires us. And the story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history, we met the moment. Democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch but thrive.

That America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world. That is what we owe our forbearers, one another, and generations to follow.

So with purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasks of our time. Sustained by faith, driven by conviction and devoted to one another and the country we love with all our hearts. May God bless America and God protect our troops.

Thank you.’ America..

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Politics

‘Stop sponsoring attacks on our members, officials’ – Oyo APC warns PDP

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Oyo state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has alleged that some unnamed political associates of Governor Seyi Makinde and leaders of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state were the sponsors of the recent reported attacks on its members and officials at some venues of the ongoing membership registration and revalidation exercise in parts of the state warning them “to desist from such reprehensible acts”.

According to the party, media reports have it that some identified members of the outlawed Park Managers System (PMS), who were fully harmed with guns, machete and charms, stormed Aliwo location of Polling Units 05 and 06 of Ward 12 in Ibadan North East local government area in early hours of Tuesday and unleashed terror on residents of the area before carting away registration materials of the APC.

APC, in a statement issued on Wednesday and made available to journalists in Ibadan by the Secretary of its Committee on Media and Publicity, Olawale Sadare, frowned at what it described as unwarranted and unprovoked attacks from the PDP elements “who must have been jolted by the rate at which the good people of the state are trooping to register as new APC members while old members also attach much importance to revalidation of their membership.

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“We have had reports of violent attacks against our registration officials and members in places like Olagoke Akano Street of Ward 11 in Ibadan North East local government area, Academy area of Ward 06 in Egbeda, Iyana Bodija Market of Ward 05 in Lagelu, Orita Challenge in Ward 02 of Oluyole, Owode in Ward 06 of Ogbomoso North and many other places where political thugs were mobilized to the venues of the registration and revalidation exercise since the exercise began about two weeks ago.

“It is clear even to the deaf and the blind that those behind these shameful acts are those close to the corridor of power in the state who feel that violence, brigandage and lawlessness have to be reintroduced to the politics of Oyo state after the last administration of late Senator Abiola Ajimobi had successfully stamped it out. These disgruntled elements believe it is by unleashing terror on political opponents and hapless citizens that their desire to retain power in 2023 but this would be resisted by us in APC and other well meaning people in the society”, Sadare said.

Meanwhile, the APC media committee has appealed for calm among party faithful and members of the public who had expressed their worries over cases of non-availability of additional registration and revalidation materials in most places designated for the exercise which has now been extended to the end of March this year.

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“We are not unmindful of agitation for more supplies of the necessary materials used at most registration and revalidation points where those deployed have since been exhausted as a result of influx of the citizens who are desirous of revalidating their membership of the broom party or willing to be registered as new members. It is worthy of note that the national Secretariat of our party deployed 100 forms to each of the 4,778 Polling Units designated as Registration Points but reports indicate that officials in about 60 per cent of these Registration Points attended to 100 registrants in less than 48 hours and thus used up their materials.

“In view of this development, we are glad to disclose that the national Secretariat of our great Party has been duly notified as we have it on good authority that more supplies would be delivered to us in few days to take care of requests from across the state. Also, the leadership of the Oyo APC is poised to do everything necessary to ensure the success of the exercise which has signalled a new hope of a stronger, united and pragmatic Progressive movement in Oyo state ahead of the 2023 general elections”, Oyo APC Media Committee added.

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2023: Ex-Reps Member, Lam-Adesina Dumps ADC, Returns to APC

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A former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Adedapo Lam-Adesina, has defected from the African Democratic Congress (ADC) returning to his former party; the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Lam-Adesina represented Ibadan Northeast/Southeast federal constituency between 2015-2019.

The defection, which was done amid jubilations by his supporters at the Felele residence of the late former governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Lamidi Adesina, came weeks after leaders of the APC visited the ex-lawmaker.

Lam-Adesina, who formally declared his withdrawal from the ADC informed that his decision to rejoin the party was as a form of respect to its leaders and elders who had persuaded him to return to the progressive fold.

The ex-Oyo commissioner for Youth and Sports, together with other aggrieved members of the party, grouping under Unity Forum,  defected to ADC in June, 2018 to pursue their political bids owing to irreconcilable  tussle within the party.

Lam-Adesina further disclosed that he had tabled his grievances to those who visited him and others who had promised to address it. 

The late governor’s son said he was happy to be back home after what he called a ‘loan deal’ to ADC. He thanked the leadership for making the platform available when it was needed.

In his words, “I am happy to be back to APC. For me, it is a great homecoming. Like I have said, I have told our leaders who spoke to me let us address our problems once and for all”.

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2023 Presidency: Monarchs endorse Tinubu, as SWAGA takes crusade to Ogun

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The Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo and other prominent traditional rulers in Ogun state including the Akarigbo and Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle have pledged their support for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s 2023 presidential ambition.

Also, the monarchs described the former governor of Lagos state and the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the rightful candidate to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.

The cultural custodians, who played host to a group of rainbow coalition of like minded politicians of South West extraction under the aegis of South West Agenda (SWAGA ’23), in their palaces declared that Tinubu is the best and preferred choice from the southwest zone of the country.

Remarking, the Alake of Egbaland , Oba Gbadebo, who said he had envisioned the former Lagos state governor serves as the nation’s president a very long time ago, also expressed confidence that the group will succeed in its assignment.

Also commenting, the Olu of Ilaro noted that his support for the APC national leader is apolitical, stressing that Tinubu is the most qualified candidate any political party in the South West could boast of.

According to Oba Olugbenle, the south west could not produce any other candidate that is as fit as Tinubu for the Presidential race in 2023

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The Paramount ruler of Yewaland maintained that the contribution of Tinubu to the growth and development of Nigeria was second to none, adding that he possesses the needed sagacity, tenacity and experience to rule the country.

“His legacies as former governor of Lagos State can attest to the fact that he is the most qualified for the job.

“When he was the governor of Lagos State, the foundation he laid was what all his successors are building on, which has made the State a force to be reckoned with in the country.

“It is not about party. It is about the product that we are bringing in. He is the best man any party can present in the south. Not about APC or any other party but about the national development”, the monarch said.

On his part, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, the Akarigbo of Remoland noted that the Presidential bid of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a collective project that must be supported not only by Remoland, but the entire southwest.

The monarch, who offered prayers for the success of Tinubu’s presidential aspiration in 2023, also assured that the entire Remoland will key into the project of ensuring a true and patriotic Nigerian in the calibre of Tinubu to succeed Buhari.

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Also receiving the SWAGA 23 delegation at his Asoludero Court, Sagamu residence, former Ogun state governor, Gbenga Daniel preached unity of purpose.

While noting that the group has reignited the political strength and unity across the southwest, Governor Daniel, however advised its leadership not to lose focus and mobilise support beyond the southwest. He urged the group to collaborate with similar groups in order to actualise its ambition.

Earlier in his address, the Chairman of SWAGA ‘23, Senator Dayo Adeyeye disclosed that the mode of operations of the group is strictly voluntary and self-financing body, with the objective of convincing Tinubu to contesting for president in 2023.

The former minister of state for works further emphasized that if the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would follow agreement and zone presidency to the south in 2023, the APC national leader should be put forward and supported by the southeast and south-south.

Adeyeye submitted, “Tinubu is a good product that doesn’t need any advertisement and he has contributed greatly to the growth and development of the nation. He is consummate democrat and progressive.

“South West is interested to contest for the presidency in 2023. The person who can help us win this ticket is  Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

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“He has done a lot for Nigerians irrespective of religion and tribe. He has built bridges across the country”.

The delegation included, former Senator Adesoji Akanbi, former House of Representatives’ members, Hon. Bosun Oladele (Secretary), Hon. Rotimi Makinde, Hon Ojo, Senator Obadara, Ogun State Central Working Committee chairman, Arch Dunni Opayemi, Suraj Adekunbi Ishola and Hon Abiodun Ishiaq Akinlade, Ogun State coordinators of SWAGA 23 among others.

The group, thereafter launched its Ogun State chapter in Abeokuta, the state capital on Tuesday, targeting Kogi and Akwa Ibom states soon.

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