The Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi arrived in Abuja, Nigeria, Sunday afternoon for a three-day official visit.
Mudavadi is set to attend the inauguration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Monday with the possibility of holding bilateral talks with the new government.
Tinubu will be sworn in after winning hotly contested presidential election held on Saturday February 25, 2023 where Tinubu of the incumbent All Peoples Congress (APC) romped home with 8,794,726 votes. Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was second with 6,984,520 votes while Peter Obi of the Labour Party was third with 6,101,533 votes.
At 27%, voter turnout was one of the lowest since the end of military rule in 1999. It was the seventh General Election since the restoration of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, with 18 contestants running for the presidential office. While Tinubu’s 8.8 million votes represented about 37% of votes cast, they were less than 10% of the 93 million Nigerians registered to vote.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu is 70 years old, a Muslim and was briefly the senator for Lagos West (1992-93) as well as the Governor of Lagos for two terms between 1999 and 2007.
Both Kenya and Nigeria are considered African economic powerhouses patched on the eastern and western parts of the continent respectively.
While Nigeria is Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy with a gross domestic product (GDP) of US504 billion dollars and a population yielding an income per capita of over 2,326 US dollars, trade between the two nations is low. However, Kenya bests Nigeria where its exports to Kenya in 2021 amounted to only US1.44 million dollars, while Kenya scooped US33.12 million dollars in exports to Nigeria.
It is expected that Mudavadi, will utilise the opportunity between celebratory banquets and gala dinners to squeeze in bilateral talks on the side-lines, especially in matters finalising pending instruments for various bilateral agreements, especially on trade.
Another area of interest is shared diplomacy of conflict management. Kenya is deeply ingrained in seeking solutions to conflicts in the EAC and IGAD countries while Nigeria keeps watch on the volatile western rim of Africa.
Indeed, while Nigeria has to contend with internal and regional terror wrought by the Islamist Boko Haram, Kenya is faced with the same malady occasioned by Al Querida terror group. Nigeria is battling the insurgency within and also sending troops to help ECOWAS counties contain the insurrection.
Kenya, on the other hand, has had to secure itself from Al Queida by sending troops to create a buffer zone in Somalia, apart from contributing heavily to the EAC Standing Force to pacify eastern DRC.