The United States secretary of state, John Kerry, has reaffirmed the US support for the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, acknowledging that it inherited depleted State.
“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,” Kerry was quoted as saying.
Kerry stated this on Tuesday, August 23, during his meeting with Buhari at the State House in Abuja.
In a statement issued by the Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, the President assured Kerry that the anti-corruption crusade in the country will be institutionalised to outlive his administration.
Buhari was quoted as saying: “We will insist on the standards we’re 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. But we will be fair, just and act according to the rule of law.
“Anyone perceived corrupt is innocent till we can prove it. We will work very hard to establish documentation for successful prosecution, and those in positions of trust will sit up.”
Speaking on the Boko Haram insurgency, Buhari thanked the US 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.
“Although militancy in the Niger Delta has impacted negatively on the economy and affected the positive intentions of international and local investors, government is showing restraint not to use real force except when constrained to do so,” the President said.
Kerry also commended Buhari’s courage in the fighting against corruption, saying: “We applaud what you are doing. Corruption creates a ready-made playing field for recruiting extremists.
“Nigeria is priority for us. We won’t miss the opportunity to work together, because you are making significant progress.”
The Secretary of State also pledged the US resolve to assist in tackling the humanitarian challenges in the north-east.