Olalekan Adetayo, Adelani Adepegba, Tunde Ajaja and Daud Olatunji
Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, on Saturday won the United States presidential election, defeating incumbent President and Republican candidate, Donald Trump.
In many cities across the country, including Atlanta in Georgia, New York City, Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, Wilmington in Delaware, Oakland in California, Minneapolis in Minnesota and Washington DC, the seat of government, many people trooped to the streets to celebrate the outcome of the election.
There had been anxiety over the outcome of the election, which held since Tuesday even though Biden had maintained the lead. But after it became clear that Biden had won the election, Democrats and supporters of the Biden-Kamala Harris candidacy trooped to the streets with placards bearing different inscriptions to celebrate the victory of 77-year-old Biden.
Associated Press reported that Biden had 290 Electoral College votes against Trump’s 214 votes. Also, Biden won 74,939,396 votes, representing 50.6 per cent,
while Trump had 70,636,322, representing 47.7 per cent of the votes.
But Trump rejected the result, saying the election was far from over. Trump said, “We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed.
“The simple fact is this election is far from over. Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated. So what is Biden hiding? I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands.”
Biden, however, tweeted, “I am honoured and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and Vice-President-elect (Kamala) Harris. In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation. It’s time for America to unite. And to heal.”
Meanwhile, from the Black Lives Matter plaza across from the White House in Washington to Union Square in the Manhattan borough of New York City, Washington Square in New York, Times Square in New York, space outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Alphabet City neighbourhood of Manhattan in New York and many other popular spots across the country, the supporters of the President-elect came out to celebrate the victory.
…becomes America’s oldest President to be elected
Meanwhile, apart from being the 46th President of the United States, Biden is now the oldest person to be elected as the president of the most powerful nation and biggest democracy in the world.
According to potus.com, Trump was until now the oldest president sworn in at 70 years 220 days, while Ronald Reagan, sworn in at 69 years 348 days, was next to him.
In contrast, Theodore Roosevelt remained the youngest President the US had, as he was 42 years 322 days at his inauguration while the second youngest was John F Kennedy, who was 43 years 236 days when he assumed office.
Obama, Clinton, others hail electorate
Former President and Trump’s predecessor, Barrack Obama, has congratulated Biden and Harris on their victory. During Obama’s eight years in office, Biden was the vice-president.
Obama however said after Biden’s inauguration in January, he would face a series of extraordinary challenges “no incoming president ever has.”
He added, “We are fortunate that Joe’s got what it takes to be President and already carries himself that way. I know he’ll do the job with the best interests of every American at heart, whether or not he had their vote. So, I encourage every American to give him a chance and lend him your support.”
Also, former Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, also tweeted, “The voters have spoken, and they have chosen @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris to be our next president and vice president. It’s a history-making ticket, a repudiation of Trump, and a new page for America. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen. Onward together.”
Buhari, Macron, others congratulate President-Elect
Meanwhile, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) has congratulated Biden on his election.
Buhari said this in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, titled ‘President Buhari congratulates Biden, says Nigeria looks forward to greater cooperation with the US.’
Shehu quoted Buhari as saying that Biden was elected “at a time of uncertainty and fear in world affairs,” adding, “with your election, we look forward to greater cooperation between Nigeria and the United States, especially at economic, diplomatic and political levels, including the war against terrorism.
Also, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, in her tweet wrote, “I look forward to future cooperation with President Biden; our transatlantic friendship is irreplaceable if we are to master the great challenges of our time.”
Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said he looked forward to tackling “the world’s greatest challenges” with the new administration, including climate change.
British Prime, Minister Boris Johnson, also said, “The US is our most important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security.”
French President, Emmanuel Macron, also tweeted, “The Americans have chosen their President. Congratulations @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris! We have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together!
Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, tweeted, “Congratulations @JoeBiden on your spectacular victory! As the VP, your contribution to strengthening Indo-US relations was critical and invaluable. I look forward to working closely together once again to take India-US relations to greater heights.”
Meanwhile, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former vice-president Atiku Abubakar have also congratulated the president-elect.
Obasanjo in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, in Abeokuta said, “It is the victory of good over evil and it is not a victory for you and the people of America alone, but a victory for most people of the world, majority of whom watch helplessly as the world that had been steadily and painstakingly built since the end of the Second World War was being pulled down.”
In his separate statement, Atiku said, “Not only do I congratulate you on your victory, but I also urge you to build on US-Nigeria relations, especially on widening the African Growth and Opportunity Act for seamless interplay with the African Continental Free Trade Area.”