The US Secretary of State who is visiting Kenya, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia arrived in Nigeria from Nairobi on Tuesday.
Top on his discussion with President Buhari is the deteriorating human rights record of the administration, the poor state of Nigeria ‘s economy which is in a recession the rising wave of militants attack on oil installations where the interest of US has been hurt, the pro-Islamist agenda of the ruling All Progressives Congress, that is deepening the tension in Nigeria.
Diplomatic sources said Washington which placed key role in the emergence of the Buhari led administration is disappointed with
the growing isolationist position of President Buhari and the drift in all sectors of life in Nigeria, contrary to promises made by the leaders of APC that the Party would be a better alternative to People’s Democratic Party.
Kerry is expected to raise the issues of arbitrary detention of Nigerians and refusal by the Executive arm to adhere to the rule of Law in the fight against corruption in Nigeria. This has seen Washington issuing two damning criticisms of the Buhari administration in the first one year of its being in office.
Some of the detained persons have been denied the opportunity to enforce their fundamental human rights while others are being held against judicial decision that granted them bails.
Among them are the Director of Radio Biafra and IPOB activist, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, there are also hundreds of people arrested during street protests demanding for the release of Mr. Kanu.
Other knotty points include the continued detention of Islamic Cleric, Dr. Zak Zaky and brutal killing of over 100 members of Shiites sect in Kaduna state for alleged obstructing the highway which impeded the movement of the convoy of Chief of Army Staff, the frustration of the trial of former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki and former Chief of Air Staff, AVM Alexander Badeh.
The Presidency is worried that the notice of Kerry’s visit was too short and abrupt given the
wide issues to be discussed. Daily Gazette learnt that President Buhari is not happy with the agenda for the visit because they are within the domestic domain of Nigeria. The standard brief prepared for the President is that the magnitude of the corruption under the past administration is what caused the economic collapse that Nigeria is experiencing today. The drastic drop in revenue resulting from the global oil price fall, the activities of Niger Delta militants have been slated for discussion as factors that led to the economic recession.
US diplomats in Lagos said “some of the challenges facing the Buhari administration are caused by his military mindset which regards flexibility in governance as a sign of weakness.”
The crisis with the National Assembly, his refusal to entertain the idea of restructuring of Nigeria or look at the report of the National Conference are seen as dangerous sign posts for peace and stability in Nigeria. Mr. Kerry is expected to raise similar concerns in Sokoto where he is to deliver a speech on counter terrorism and religious tolerance. He will be received by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad on Wednesday.