West & Central Africa

John Kerry to call for tolerance in Nigeria

US Secretary, John Kerry will be in Nigeria Tuesday, 23rd August, to meet President Buhari and Governors of the northern states of the country.

He will also meet with the Sultan of Sokoto Saad Abubakar, who is President-General of the Nigerian National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs the Federal, Government says.

John Kerry is expected to raise issue of human rights abuses by the Nigerian security agencies in the fight against Boko Haram which Human rights organisations have levelled against the country in the past.

The Secretary of State is also discussing the Boko Haram insurgency that has claimed more than 200, 000 lives and displaced about 3 million people across the north eastern region of the country.

The meeting with northern governors who are all Muslims is expected to discuss religious tolerance.

buhari and kerry picture
John Kerry and President Muhammed Buhari

The relationship between the United States and Nigeria has been very poor during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan, the past president due to human rights abuses and the refusal of the past president to decriminalise same-sex marriage. President Obama had threatened to withdraw assistance and aid to Nigeria for what it considers the violation of the rights of LGBT in Nigeria who have claimed persecution by the government.

The warming relationship now is based on President Buhari’s drive to curb the corruption in Nigeria. It is not clear whether John Kerry will meet any of the leaders of the Christian community despite the fact that Christians have suffered most in the Jihadist campaign of Boko Haram.