United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, yesterday at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa met behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari, who pledged to refrain from using military force to quell Niger Delta militancy except he is “constrained” to do so.
Buhari stressed that despite the negative impact on the economy caused by the militancy in the Niger Delta, which has also affected the positive intentions of international and local investors, his government was showing restraint not to use real force, “except when constrained to do so.”
An Aso Rock statement issued after the meeting said Buhari however, assured his guest that the focus of his administration is on the diversification of the economy having learnt our lessons from years of over dependence on oil.
The president also pledged that his anti-corruption crusade would be deepened and institutionalized to last beyond his administration.
According to him, “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 foul 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.”
On the Boko Haram insurgency, Buhari thanked the U.S for both hard and soft military help, noting that “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.”