• To meet 5 Northern govs
Corruption and security will top the agenda as United States Secretary of State John Kerry visits Nigeria today. He will also meet with governors of five northern states in Aso Rock, after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
During his campaign for president, Muhammadu Buhari promised to fight the corruption that is seen as one of the reasons that two-thirds of the people live in poverty, even though the country is among Africa’s top economies.
Since Buhari took office, the U.S. has increased its security commitments to Nigeria, despite continued allegations by rights groups of human rights abuses by Nigerian soldiers. The US has deployed drones to neighbouring Cameroon to hunt for Boko Haram fighters in Nigeria, and also has stationed a small group of troops in Maiduguri, Borno State, according to a senior military official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Kerry also is expected to discuss the state of the economy with President Buhari during the trip, VOA reported. Decline in the price of oil as well as a series of militant attacks on infrastructure have resulted in substantial drop in the country’s oil production.
The visit, likely the last by a major American official during the Obama administration, comes as the two countries have gradually been stepping up their cooperation after a period of strained relations. A rift opened between the two countries during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. Nigerian officials complained the US wasn’t supplying them with weapons they needed to fight the Boko Haram insurgency.
in the country’s northeast, while American officials said they worried the military would use U.S. arms to carry out human rights abuses.
Boko Haram remains one of the country’s top security challenges.