Kerry made the disclosure in Sokoto at the Sultan’s palace where he delivered a speech entitled:” 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 them.
‘”Corruption is not only a crime, but very dangerous and it must be tamed.”
He remarked that corrupt officials, globally were ‘crooks’.
The US Secretary of state also acknowledged the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari to holistically fight corruption, noting that President Muhammadu Buhari understood this, as he 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”, he pointed out.
Accordingly, Kerry acknowledged the ongoing efforts by Buhari to entrench morality, transparency, honesty and good governance in public life while noting that, Buhari was also making commendable 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 campaigns.
He reiterated that, ” US 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 further acknowledged President Buhari’s bold efforts in fighting insurgency and other crimes across the country, saying that” Boko Haram boasts 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, to be able to build counter-terrorism capacities while disclosing that, it has worked out counter-terrorism strategies for implementation globally.
He commended the sultan for his relentless efforts to entrench peace, unity and prosperity in Nigeria and beyond.
He also lauded the plan by the sultanate council of Sokoto 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.
In his remarks, Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar commended Kerry for the visit and his ”inspiring speech”, saying that ” 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 Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara state including religious, traditional and community leaders, as well as students.