By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
Sokoto – The U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, has said that the world lost a whopping $2.6 trillion annually to corrupt practices and called for a concerted effort to stem the tide for the interest of humanity.
The U.S top scribe made the revelation during a visit to the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, in his palace in Sokoto on Tuesday.
He said the money being lost to corruption across the world was enough to provide decent livelihood for people.
Kerry 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 said.
But he showered praises on President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts in fighting corruption in Nigeria, describing corrupt elements anywhere in the world as crooks.
Kerry said he was satisfied that Buhari understood the evil of graft in his country and was working assiduously to stem the tide, describing Nigeria as a regional leader in the fight against corruption.
He said Nigeria is also a role model in the ongoing global efforts to fight corruption and and acknowledged measures being taken by the Buhari administration to entrench morality, transparency, honesty and good governance in the country
Kerry particularly lauded Nigeria’s efforts at recovering stolen funds, saying that there was need for all government institutions, including the military, other security agencies and the judiciary, to support the anti-corruption drive.
He assured Nigerian that the U.S. was fully committed to fighting corruption and entrenching good governance globally.
Apparently taking a swipe at those angling for the split of the country, Kerry said, “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 said.
The U.S top diplomat took a swipe at the Boko Haram insurgents, saying that the group had no other agenda than destruction of lives and property.
According to him, “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.”
He said the U.S. was deeply committed to working with partners like Nigeria to build counter-terrorism capacities, disclosing that his government had worked out counter-terrorism strategies that would be implemented globally.
The envoy commended the sultan for his relentless efforts at entrenching peace and unity in Nigeria and beyond.
He lauded the plan by the sultanate council to establish an all-women university, saying that girls, women, children and other vulnerable groups “must be educated, given jobs and opportunities to explore their potential’’.
In his remarks, the Sultan commended Mr. Kerry for the visit and his inspiring speech” and said that the gesture would encourage them to redouble efforts for a stronger, united and prosperous Nigeria.