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We have arrived in Canaan, Raila Odinga says

Tuesday January 30 2018
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Nasa leader Raila Odinga (third right) together with other politicians sing the national anthem before he took an 'oath' as 'people's president' in Nairobi on January 30, 2018. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION

By BEATRICE KANGAI

Hours after he was 'sworn-in' as 'people's president', Nasa leader Raila Odinga took to Twitter to acknowledge those who have supported him.

"I wish to thank the people of Kenya for the mandate they have given us and for their steadfast confidence in us.

"You came from all corners of the republic to witness my inauguration and it was good to see you out in millions," he posted on Twitter on Tuesday evening.

He added: "Most of all I thank the good Lord, my family and all those who have undertaken this journey with us.

"We have arrived in Canaan; thank you for staying the course with us. Asanteni sana."

Mr Odinga held a mock inauguration Tuesday in front of thousands of supporters.

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Authorities have repeatedly warned that such an inauguration was treasonous and that Mr Odinga could face arrest.

However as the wording of the oath was different to that in the constitution, the consequences of Odinga's act of political theatre were unclear.

"I Raila Amolo Odinga, in full realisation of the high calling, assume the office of the People's President of the Republic of Kenya," he said in the brief and chaotic ceremony, prompting the sea of people to erupt with joy.

"We have accomplished our promise to Kenyans," said Odinga before quickly departing, the packed venue emptying out in minutes.

The ceremony followed hours of uncertainty as supporters waited in the baking sun and commentators speculated over whether the 73-year-old would actually go through with the "inauguration" that was already delayed in December.

Additional reporting by AFP

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