Wednesday, August 31

U.S Moves To Pacify CAN Over Kerry’s Visit

U.S Moves To Pacify CAN Over Kerry’s Visit

Mr. John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State

The United States Mission in Nigeria has commenced talks with the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, towards clarifying allegations of religious and sectional partisanship during the U.S. Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry visit to Nigeria.

Recall that Mr. Kerry, who visited the country last week publicly engaged the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, who is the head of the Islamic Umma in Nigeria, without a corresponding interaction with the Christian community.

The action sparked angry reactions and condemnation from the Christian body, as they alleged that Kerry’s action meant lack of respect to the heterogeneous nature of the country.

“If US Secretary of States is coming for official visit, it’s understandable, but we demand explanation why he was selective. Has the sultan palace become another state house? Was Kerry invited by the Sultan?

“We have 36 States in Nigeria; he only selected northern governors to meet with them. It was a visit to the north, not to Nigeria. It was surely a very divisive visit.

With the visit to the north, Kerry’s visit has heightened fear and tension among Christians in Nigeria, if they cannot bring us together, they should not interfere in our affairs,” CAN had said.

The embassy, however, said that it did not disparage Christians in the meeting with religious leaders in Sokoto as it claimed that the secretary interacted with both Muslims and Christians during the engagement in Sokoto.

Spokesman at the U.S. Mission in Nigeria, Larry Socha said: “In Sokoto, Secretary Kerry met with both Christian and Muslim leaders to discuss religious tolerance and ways to counter violent extremism affecting all Nigerians.

“The Embassy is in communication with CAN to clarify the media reports and any misunderstandings.

In addition to his meeting with Christian and Muslim leaders and the individuals you mentioned below, Secretary Kerry also met with FM Geoffrey Onyeama, U.S. exchange programme alumni, non-governmental anti-corruption activists, young Nigerian women at a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) event, and others while in Nigeria.”

The Secretary General of CAN, Rev. Musa Asake, confirmed that the embassy had already opened communication with the Christian body and that an appointment with the CAN president would be made in the nearest future towards clarifying the issues involved.

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