by Tolu Omoyeni
United States Secretary of State, John Kerry is on a visit to Africa to discuss counter terrorism and human rights issues in the region. He has been in Nigeria for two days and has paid a visit to the Sultan of Sokoto and President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
Here’s a timeline of his activities so far:
During his visit to the Sultan of Sokoto on Tuesday, Mr John Kerry made known of some important facts, here’s some of them:
- The world loses $3.6 trillion annually to corrupt practices. An amount of money that could otherwise be used to improve the standard of living of people across the world.
- The Nigeria military should be cautious not to commit human right abuses in its battle against militant group, Boko Haram. “Extremism cannot be defeated through repression or fear,” he said.
- The United States would continue to identify itself with the Sultanate in strengthening religious tolerance and understanding among Nigerians.
- Nigeria is a role model in the ongoing global efforts to fight corruption and President Buhari’s efforts to instil morality, transparency, honesty and good governance in the country do not go unnoticed.
- Ties between the United States and Nigeria have grown stronger since the election of President Buhari into office. American surveillance drones now fly missions over the parts of Nigeria where Boko Haram is most active.
- According to him, “Corruption is not only a crime, it is dangerous and must be tamed.”
In the second phase of his visit, Mr John Kerry met with President Buhari at the State House in Abuja and here are some of the things he said:
- “Nigeria is priority for us. We won’t miss the opportunity to work together, because you are making significant progress”.
- The US will seek the support of the United Kingdom, France and other powerful countries to assist in tackling the humanitarian challenges in the North-East.
- To President Buhari, Mr Kerry said: “We applaud what you are doing. Corruption creates a ready-made playing field for recruiting extremists. You inherited a big problem and we will support you in any way we can.”
- In his advice to Nigerians, he said religious, ethnic and all forms of moral codes should be surpassed, and in defeating terrorism, tolerance and acceptance should be practiced.
Mr John Kerry left the country earlier today for Saudi Arabia where he will continue foreign policy talks.