John Kerry Leaves Nigeria

The United State Secretary of State, John Kerry has concluded his visit to Nigeria.

Mr. Kerry’s next stop is Saudi Arabia where he will meet with Foreign Ministers from the six nation Gulf Cooperation Council.

Some key issues he discussed with President Muhammadu Buhari, include the anti-corruption campaign, religious extremism and the violence in the Niger Delta Region.

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 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.

John Kerry Leaves Nigeria

John Kerry Meets Buhari Behind Closed Doors

The United States Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, on Tuesday met with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors.

Kerry arrived at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa in Abuja for the meeting at 3:07pm and was received by the State House Chief of Protocol, Amb. Lawal Kazaure.

Kazaure later led him to the President’s office where Buhari and some members of his cabinet and presidential aides were waiting.

The meeting with the President ended at about 4:40pm after which Kerry proceeded to the State House Waiting Room where he met with some Northern state governors.

The governors included those of Bauchi, Borno, Kwara and Sokoto states as well the deputy governor of Benue State.


John Kerry In Sokoto, What He Told Sultan Abubakar

Mr John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, on Tuesday lauded the efforts of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, for promoting religious tolerance and understanding among Nigerians.

Kerry was speaking during a courtesy visit on the Sultan at his palace .


He said that the Sultanate Council was building a community of tolerance for peace, progress and political stability in Nigeria.

He said that the United States would continue to identify itself with the Sultanate in strengthening religious tolerance and understanding among Nigerians.

He said that being the first secretary of state to visit the seat of the caliphate, all hands should be on deck towards strengthening religious knowledge among Nigerians.

Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar had earlier expressed delight at the visit.

He said that 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 .

Gov Aminu Tambuwal, who accompanied Kerry to the palace, said the state government would continued 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.

Kerry had a closed door meeting with Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar and some leaders of the two major religions.

Gov. Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara and Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, Deputy National Chairman of APC North West, were present during the courtesy visit on the Sultan.

Credit: NAN

State House Reporters Restricted From Covering John Kerry’s Visit

Indications emerged on Monday that reporters covering the State House have been restricted from covering the visit of the United States (US) Secretary of State, John Kerry, to the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to receive Kerry by 3p.m.

According to sources, only photographers and videographers will cover his visit to the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The photographers and videographers that will be allowed to establish arrival of Kerry by 2.55 pm, according to sources, are expected to set-up by 2.15 p.m.

Also only the official photographers and videographer will be allowed to establish the bilateral meeting at the President’s office.

The Secretary of State will not grant any press interview at the end of the meeting with the President.

After meeting Buhari, Kerry is expected to meet with select Governors from the Northern part of Nigeria at the State House Press Waiting Room.

Again seven media personnel comprising of photographers and videographers will be allowed to establish the event.

At the end of the meeting with the governors, Kerry again will not grant any press interview.

Reporters, according to the sources, won’t be allowed near the visiting Secretary of State.


Kerry’s visit: State House reporters restricted

John Kerry In Kenya For Regional Security Talks, Arrives Nigeria Tomorrow

With a peace deal unravelling in South Sudan and jihadist attacks continuing in Somalia, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi on Monday.

The two discussed regional security and terrorism before Kerry met with the foreign ministers of Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda for talks focusing on a faltering peace agreement in South Sudan and looming elections in Somalia.

A statement from the Kenyan presidency ahead of Kerry’s visit said discussions with Kenyatta would focus on “regional security and stability” including South Sudan where a civil war has been raging since December 2013, Somalia where elections are due next month, and Burundi in the throes of a political crisis since April 2015.

Terrorism would also be on the agenda, the statement said, as the threat from Somalia’s Shabaab militants continues to affect the region.

Kerry’s previous visit to Kenya in May 2015 paved the way for US President Barack Obama’s trip two months later.

The high-profile US diplomatic missions underline Kenya’s importance as a regional partner to the US, particularly on security, and demonstrate a thawing of relations that cooled while Kenyatta was under indictment by the International Criminal Court for alleged election-related crimes against humanity.

Kerry is expected to focus his attention on South Sudan and shoring up a year-old peace deal that has so far failed to end the conflict.

Kerry is due to travel to Nigeria on Tuesday before leaving Africa for Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

Read More: AFP

John Kerry To Visit Nigeria

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Nigeria and Saudi Arabia next week to discuss regional issues, the State Department announced Thursday.

Kerry will first go to Nigeria and meet with President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss the threat of terror group Boko Haram, spokesman John Kirby said.

Boko Haram, the group responsible for the kidnapping of nearly 300 girls from a school in Chibok in 2014, has killed at least 20,000 people in its 7-year uprising against the Nigerian government. It surpassed Islamic State in 2014 to become the world’s deadliest terrorist group, according to the 2015 Global Terrorism Index, published by the Institute for Economics and Peace.

Kerry and Buhari also will discuss Nigeria’s economy and human rights issues.

Secretary Kerry then will travel on to Saudi Arabia where he will meet with Saudi and other Gulf state leaders to discuss the ongoing conflict in Yemen, Kirby said.

Credit: voanews

‘Building Nigeria, Can’t Be An Overnight Operation’, US Tells Buhari

The United States has acknowledged Nigeria’s challenges and told President Muhammadu Buhari administration that building Nigeria would not be “an overnight operation.”

The US Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, who stated this on Wednesday at the US-Nigeria Binational Commission’s meeting in Washington, said America wanted Nigeria to succeed.

 He stated, “You know there are challenges.  That’s what your election was about.  And so we are all aware that the world right now is facing many different challenges in terms of governance in various parts of the world and for various reasons: absence of capital, absence of structure, having to build capacity.

“These things take time.  Nobody is pretending that it’s an overnight operation.  It wasn’t for us.  And some people sometimes are very revisionist in America about our own history, but we’ve gone through some very difficult periods and very difficult issues.”

Kerry recalled that America took slavery out of its constitution after it had been written in, adding that it was no small task.

 He stated, “We’ve been through a history.  And what we’re trying to do is, really, share with people the shortcut, if you will – how you can manage to avoid some of the mistakes that we’ve made in the course of our own development in ways that can embrace the hopes and the aspirations of millions upon millions of people.  That’s what this is about.”

He added that Nigeria was finding very vibrant expression in every branch of the arts. He said that   like the United States, Nigeria “is a diverse country with a very large and assertive civil society.”

 Kerry said,  “The United States, let me be clear, is very encouraged by President Buhari’s commitment to an economy that is more diversified, less dependent on a single commodity for export earnings, and that means we need to develop sustainability.

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Obama Names John Kerry As Head Of U.S. Delegation To Buhari’s Inauguration

President Barack Obama of the United States has named Secretary of State, John Kerry, to lead the American government delegation to the inauguration of Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s president.

Mr. Buhari will be sworn into office on May 29, alongside his vice president-elect, Yemi Osinbajo.

“Today @POTUS announced that @JohnKerry will lead the U.S. Presidential Delegation to the inauguration of President-elect Buhari of #Nigeria,” the U.S. State Department tweeted late Monday.

There has been high international interest in Nigeria’s political transition and the planned transfer of power from the Jonathan-Sambo presidency to the Buhari-Osinbajo presidency.

The United States, which closely followed the elections in March, has particularly shown interest in the transition, with Mr. Obama considering sending Vice President Joe Biden to lead his presidential team to Nigeria on May 29.

Some senior members of the U.S. Congress, including the Chairman of the US House of Representatives Sub Committee on Africa, Chris Smith, are also said to be planning to attend the event.

The U.S. President normally announces a delegation to the presidential inaugurations of friendly nations to be led by the Ambassador in that country.

But in rare occasions, he picks very senior public officials as the head of delegation to underscore how the US highly regards the country or the circumstances at a given point in time.

From the U.S. government to the business sectors and think tanks, the level of excitement about the anticipated peaceful transfer of power in Nigeria and the outcome of the elections itself producing the Buhari-Osinbajo ticket from an opposition party, APC, has been widespread.

Some of the U.S. groups that have been showing keen interest to attend the inauguration and pressuring the U.S. government to send a very high-powered delegation are the Atlantic Council, and the Constituency for Africa-groups known to be very influential in Washington DC.

There were calls last week for Mr. Obama himself to personally attend the event.

On Tuesday, Mr. Obama’s National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, also tweeted that, “Inauguration will mark a historic transfer of power and underscore the Nigerian people’s commitment to democracy.”


Promoters Of Election Violence Ineligible For American Visas —John Kerry

Any Nigerian who promotes any form of election violence during or after election remains iineligible for US visas.

 President Jonathan with US Secretary of State, John Kerry at the State House, Marina, Lagos

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, who sounded the warning during a visit to Nigeria said his country is investing enormously to ensure credible elections in Nigeria.

Kerry made this statement at a news conference in Lagos, shortly after meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan and Major General Mohammed Buhari.

He urged all Nigerians to help make the elections free, fair and credible.

According to the US Secretary of State, the U.S. Government, would maintain its position that any Nigerian involved in election violence would no longer be eligible for American visas.

He also stressed the need to continue campaigning for progressive democratic rule in Nigeria, stressing that all political office holders should shun all levels and forms of election violence either before, during or after the polls.

He said: “The U.S. Government strongly believe in Nigeria having credible, free and fair elections come February 14.

“The US Government wants to say that any Nigerian who promotes any form of violence during the elections remains ineligible for U.S. visa.” Kerry added. He further stated that the international community and the U.S. are keenly interested in the conduct of Nigeria’s up ccoming election.

Source –

”I Will Hand Over On May 29” President Jonathan Insists

President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday affirmed that the May 29 handover date has not been changed.

He was apparently reacting the calls by some individuals including the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), for the postponement of the February general elections.

A statement released by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, quoted Jonathan as saying this during a closed-door meeting he had with the United States Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, at the State House, Marina.

The statement was signed personally by the President.

He said he had what he called “a candid and constructive discussion” about a broad range of issues with his guest.

He said he emphasised to Kerry that he was deeply committed to ensuring that the elections were free, fair and credible.

Jonathan said, “I emphasised to Secretary Kerry that I am deeply committed to ensuring that our forthcoming election is free, fair, and credible.

“It is especially critical that all political parties abide by the Abuja Accord, which commits each to non-violence before, during, and after the election.

“I made it absolutely clear that the May 29th handover date is sacrosanct.

“In addition, the government will provide all resources that are required by the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure that the election goes smoothly.

“I also emphasised that INEC is an independent body, which makes its own decisions without any interference from the government.”

The President said he was grateful to the US for standing with Nigeria and its people in the nation’s fight against Boko Haram.

Boko Haram Strikes as US Secretary of State Visits

Boko Haram fighters on Sunday overran a strategic town in northeastern Nigeria and seized a military base, as Secretary of State John Kerry pledged further US support against the militants.

The Islamists captured the town of Monguno in Borno State, which lies about 125 kilometres (80 miles) north of the state capital Maiduguri, which was targeted in a simultaneous dawn raid. “Monguno has fallen, Monguno has fallen,” said a senior military officer, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

“We fought them all night long but they took over the town, including the military barracks there.”

The military in Abuja said that “scores” of Boko Haram fighters were killed as troops restored order in Maiduguri and Konduga, some 40 kilometres away. But on Monguno, defence spokesman Chris Olukolade said an air campaign was being mounted as “troops had to retreat from the location” after the commander and soldiers were injured.

Credit: Yahoo News

Arab Nations Join U. S. Fight I. S.


Ten Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, have agreed to support the US in tackling the threat posed by the Islamic State.

After talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Jeddah, they agreed to help stop the flow of funds and foreign fighters to IS. Kerry is trying to build a coalition against the militants, who control large parts of Syria and Iraq.

US President Barack Obama has threatened action against IS, and Mr Kerry has been tasked with trying to build a regional coalition against the militants. As the meeting in Jeddah broke up, a joint statement declared a “shared commitment to stand united against the threat posed by all terrorism” including IS.

In addition to Saudi Arabia, Arab states taking part were Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. NATO member Turkey was also represented, but did not sign the statement.

Speaking on Wednesday,  Obama said any group that threatened America would “find no safe haven”. He also announced that 475 US military personnel would be sent to Iraq but would not have a combat role.

However the Russian foreign ministry said these planned action, without the backing of the UN, would be “an act of aggression” and a “gross violation” of international law.


19 Killed in Baghdad Serial Explosions


A chain of car bomb explosions has claimed the lives of at least 19 people and injured dozens more across Iraq’s capital city of Baghdad. Iraqi security officials say the serial blasts occurred minutes apart in a Shia neighborhood in southeastern Baghdad on Wednesday.

Sources say the attacks started when an explosive-laden car rammed into a checkpoint manned by traffic police in the volatile area. At least five people were killed in the first deadly attack. Seconds later, a car bomb explosion at nearby markets killed 14 people. Sources say at least three traffic police officers are among the victims.

Medical sources say more than 30 people have been also wounded in the terrorist attacks, while several cars and nearby building were damaged in two blasts.

No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, but the attack bore the hallmarks of Takfiri militants fighting the Iraqi government.

The blasts occurs as US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Iraq on his first visit after the formation of a new Iraqi government.  He made an unannounced visit to Baghdad at the start of a Middle East tour aimed at building support for the fight against the ISIL terrorist group.

U.S Forming “Core Coalition” to Fight I.S

Isis fighters parade through Raqqa

The United States said on Friday it was forming a “core coalition” to battle Islamic State militants, calling for broad support from allies and partners but ruling out committing ground forces.

President Barack Obama sought to use a NATO summit in Wales to enlist allied support in fighting the Islamist militants, but it is unclear how many nations might join the United States in air strikes in Iraq.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told foreign and defense ministers from 10 nations on the sidelines of the summit on ways they can help. Kerry said, “We need to attack them in ways that prevent them from taking over territory, to bolster the Iraqi security forces and others in the region who are prepared to take them on, without committing troops of our own. Obviously I think that’s a red line for everybody here: no boots on the ground.”

Hagel said, “This group here this morning is the core coalition,.. It is the core group that will form the larger and extended coalition that’s going to be required to deal with this challenge.”  And nations involved include, The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Poland and Denmark, whose Ministers have met to discuss a strategy for addressing the Sunni militant group.

Kerry also said he hoped the allies could develop a comprehensive plan fighting IS in time for this month’s annual U.N. General Assembly session in New York.