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Nigeria: US Secretary of State Kerry hails Sokoto caliphate's religious tolerance


The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed pleasure with the Sultan of Sokoto for his efforts in strengthening religious tolerance in the country.

During his-two day state visit to Nigeria on Tuesday, John Kerry first called on Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar IV at his palace in Sokoto in the north where he pledged the United States’ continued support in building peace.

Fear instilled through repression invites not confidence but contempt. It creates terrorists - trust creates citizens.

The visit makes Kerry the first U.S. Secretary of State to visit the caliphate bringing delight to the Sultan and the governor of the Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who accompanied John Kerry to the palace.

The Sultan who is also the President of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Nigeria promised the sultanate council would continue to promote peaceful coexistence which remains their principal objective.

John Kerry and the Sultan of Sokoto later spoke to the press and youth of Sokoto where he cautioned Nigerians not to be prisoners of Boko Haram extremists who “transform the most vulnerable among us to be killers”.

He acknowledged the progress made by Nigeria and its neighbours to eliminate Boko Haram adding that the root of the extremism should be struck through education.

Kerry also denounced corruption, electoral fraud and repression while stressing on the education of women and empowering societies to be more democratic.

“Fear instilled through repression invites not confidence but contempt. It creates terrorists – trust creates citizens,” he said.

“It is essential to rebuild trust in the government … It is understandable in the wake of militant activity to crack down on everyone and anyone … I caution against that today,” he added.

The U.S. Secretary of State appealed for ethnic and religious mutual understanding as well as humanitarian support for the displaced.

John Kerry is expected to meet President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja later on Tuesday.

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