Kerry’s selective visit to Nigeria dangerous

US Secretary of State John Kerry, Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar, and Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal during Kerry's visit to the Sultan's Palace in Sokoto, on Tuesday.

THE visit of the United States Secretary of State, Mr John Kerry, to Nigeria last week is dangerous for our country’s democracy. During the visit, Mr Kerry had met President Muhammadu Buhari, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Saad, and the 19 Northern state governors.
While I don’t know the reason for Kerry’s visit, and why he met those he had audience with, it is greatly unfair to traditional rulers in other parts of the country, as well as Southern state governors.

In the spirit of fairness, Kerry ought to have met all stakeholders in the country’s development, and not limit it to just the North. I hope the US Secretary of State can offer an explanation to southern Nigerians on his selective visit. For God sake, Nigeria is a secular state, and this visit is only recognising the Northern region over the other part of the country.

I am not surprised that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has expressed its anger at Kerry’s visit, saying such could destabilise the country.
At a time when the country is facing myriads of problems, getting the US to intervene in all of it would have gone a long way in stabilising the polity. However, the selective visit of Mr Kerry reveals that the US is only concerned about the problems facing the North, and not about those facing other parts of the country.

Today, there are Fulani herdsmen rampaging across the Southern part of the country, killing innocent people and destroying their farms. Is the US not concerned about this?

For some time now, there have been secession threats by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), among others.
In the South West, we have been experiencing a rise in kidnapping cases at unprecedented level; it got so bad that a traditional ruler was recently kidnapped in Lagos.
These are security issues that the country expected the US to discuss with different stakeholders in the country, but it is unfortunate that Kerry did not look at all these before making his selective visit to Nigeria.
The United States owe the Southern part of the country explanation why its Secretary of State made that selective visit. It is like the world’s most democratically advanced country rates the Northern region far above the Southern region, and this contradicts the tenets of democracy which the US is preaching around the world.

•Yemisi Soares,
Surulere, Lagos.