Anti-corruption Fight Will Last Beyond My Administration, Buhari Tells Kerry

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday told U.S. Secretary of State, Mr John Kerry, that he would institutionalise the anti-corruption crusade to ensure it lasts … Continue reading Anti-corruption Fight Will Last Beyond My Administration, Buhari Tells Kerry


Muhammadu-Buhari-and-John-KerryNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday told U.S. Secretary of State, Mr John Kerry, that he would institutionalise the anti-corruption crusade to ensure it lasts beyond the current administration.

At a meeting with Mr Kerry in Abuja, the President said his administration “will insist on the standards it is establishing”.

“We are laying down administrative and financial instructions in the public service that must be obeyed.

“Any breach will no longer be acceptable.

“We will retrain our staff, so that they understand the new orientation.

“And those who run afoul of these rules will be prosecuted, no matter who is involved,” he stressed.

He, however, stated that the government would be fair, just and act according to the rule of law, assuring the American envoy that “anyone perceived corrupt is innocent till we can prove it”.

President Buhari said that his administration would work very hard to establish documentation for successful prosecution and that those in positions of trust would sit up.

He appreciated the intervention of the U.S. before the 2015 polls, demanding free and fair elections in Nigeria, stressing that “America did not do it because of what it stands to benefit from us. You did it for the Nigerian people.

“It tells so much what the U.S. stands for in the world”.

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Mr John Kerry and Linda Thomas-Greenfield in a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari

On the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast, President Buhari thanked the U.S. for both hard and soft military help.

“The training and intelligence that we could not muster ourselves, we received.

“The training has made Boko Haram less of a threat to Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin region, while the military hardware has given our troops added confidence,” he told Mr Kerry.

Militancy In Niger Delta

President Buhari said although Militancy in the Niger Delta had impacted negatively on the nation’s economy and affected the positive intentions of international and local investors, the government was showing restraint not to use real force, “except when constrained to do so”.

On the economy, the President assured the American envoy that the focus of his administration was on the diversification of the economy “having learnt our lessons from years of over dependence on oil”.

Ready-made Playing Field

Mr Kerry commended the courage of President Buhari in fighting corruption.

He 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. We will work with you very closely.

“We don’t want to interfere, but will offer opportunities as you require”.

The American Secretary of State also pledged to assist in tackling the humanitarian challenges in the North-east, assuring the Nigerian President that his country would get the UK, France, and others “to augment the support”.

“Nigeria is priority for us. We won’t miss the opportunity to work together, because you are making significant progress,” Mr Kerry said.

After the meeting with the President, the American envoy is met with some governors from the northern part of Nigeria.

They are governors of Borno, Benue, Kwara, Bauchi, Adamawa, Sokoto and Zamfara.

Earlier at a meeting with the Sultan of Sokoto, Mr Kerry stressed the need for the fight against corruption to be a global security of the first order to bring violent extremism to an end.

Delivering a speech on Resilient Communities and Religious Tolerance in Countering Violent Extremism, Mr Kerry said extremists do not only kill people but also turn the most vulnerable among the society into killers.