Haruna Mohammed Salisu

Kerry’s meeting with Nigeria’s Buhari, Northern Governors may further polarize the country, analysts say

U.S. Secretary of state is expected in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital to meet with President Buhari and the country’s northern Governors on Tuesday. A statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, said Kerry would hold meetings with President Muhammadu Buhari and Northern Governors on August 23rd and 24th.

U.S. diplomatic mission in Nigeria says John Kerry is expected “to discuss counter-terrorism efforts, the Nigerian economy, the fight against corruption, and human rights issues”. But many political analyst in the country are skeptical, his visit may further polarize an already divided nation between the predominant Muslims- North and Christians South.

Nkem Ogbonna is a political analyst based in the country’s Northern city of Bauchi “Kerry’s visit to Nigeria to meet Buhari is good, but segmenting the Northern Governors is in a way advancing the divide, of which the North-South dichotomy has always been a problem. So why should Kerry come to Nigeria and discuss with Northern Governors, under what constitution? It’s wrong, doing that alone contravenes the 1999 constitution, because the Governors have no business in foreign relations.

While Nkem believes such a meeting is against Nigeria’s constitution, Dayo Adeagbo on his part argues that “America is beginning to show us that they have two scales for Nigeria, there are times to cut the southern part of the country at the expense of the north and sometimes they cut the north at the expense of the south which is not suppose to be so, you can’t come and divide a country”.

Political pundits in Nigeria have consistently criticised the country’s President for his “lopsided appointments” which favours the north and his anti-corruption crusade appears to be “a political witch-hunt”.  A statement from the Presidency orders an immediate investigation of Buhari’s predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan over alleged ties with militants in the country’s oil-rich Niger-Delta. Nkem also says Kerry’s visit to discuss with Buhari, a Northern Muslim and Northern governors is a serious diplomatic blunder which exposes the country’s inept leadership championed by “the atavistic” Buhari and his dominated “nepotistic government”.