United States Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday described corruption as a dangerous crime, which must be tamed.
He added that corruption costs the world over $2.6trillion annually.
Kerry spoke at the palace of the Sultan of Sokoto where he delivered a speech titled: “The importance of resilient communities and religious tolerance in countering violent extremism’.’
He said: ‘’ This is money that can be used to improve the living standard and provide decent livelihoods for the people. Corruption is not only a crime, but very dangerous and it must be tamed.’’
The U.S. Secretary of State also acknowledged the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari to holistically fight corruption, noting that the President was elected on the platform of clean government.
‘’Nigeria is already a regional leader in the fight against corruption. The country is also a role model in the ongoing global efforts to fight corruption,” Kerry said.
He acknowledged Buhari’s efforts to entrench morality, transparency, honesty and good governance in public life, noting that the President is also making efforts to recover all stolen funds.
Kerry stressed the need for the support of the military, other security agencies and the judiciary, among others, to ensure the success of the anti corruption campaign.
He said: ‘’ U.S. is also fully committed to fighting corruption and the entrenchment of good governance globally. One of Nigeria’s strength is diversity of culture and religious tolerance.
‘’ The former leaders of the defunct Sokoto caliphate and others like the late Sir Ahmadu Bello had stood by the virtues of peace,unity and tolerance.”
He acknowledged President Buhari’s bold efforts in fighting insurgency and other crimes across the country, saying: “Boko Haram boasts of no agenda more than to burn schools.
‘’ They also kill and maim people, especially teachers, and it is the opposite of any religion.’’
Kerry also expressed US deep commitment to working with its partners like Nigeria so as to build counter-terrorism capacities. The U.S., he said, has worked out counter-terrorism strategies for implementation globally.
He hailed the Sultan, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, for his efforts to entrench peace, unity and prosperity in Nigeria and beyond.
He also lauded the plan by the Sultanate Council to establish an all-women university, noting that girls, women, children and other vulnerable groups must be educated, given jobs and opportunities to explore their potentials.
Sultan Abubakar praised Kerry for the visit and his ‘’inspiring speech’’, saying: ‘’ This will encourage us to redouble our efforts for a more stronger, united and prosperous Nigeria.
The event was witnessed by Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto and and Abdul’aziz Yari of Zamfara State.
He said the council would continue to promote peaceful coexistence among Nigerians for the overall political growth of the country.
He explained that religious tolerance and understanding among Nigerians remained the principal objective of the Sultanate in mobilising Nigerians to tolerate one another for peace, progress and political stability of the country .
Governor Aminu Tambuwal, who accompanied Kerry to the palace, said the state government would continue to strengthen peaceful coexistence among the people, irrespective of religious, tribal and political differences.
“We don’t discriminate on religious, tribal, ethnic or political affiliations as we accommodate all for peace and harmony, “ he said.