U.S. envoy tasks Nigerians on peace, unity ahead of 2019 polls
The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, has charged Nigerians to unite and promote ideals of peace as the 2019 general elections draw nearer.
Symington, who spoke during the commemoration of the 2018 World Earth Day at the University of Ibadan (UI), also urged Nigerians to think less of issues that could divide the country.
He said the process of free and fair elections in 2019 should begin in earnest, noting that it behooved on Nigerians to ensure that electioneering activities do not disrupt the relative peace being enjoyed in the country.
He pointed out that the election would come and go but the issue of how to develop the country should be more paramount to all Nigerians, irrespective of political, religious or ethnic inclinations.
His words: “Many Nigerians will spend much of this year thinking about what will happen in 2019. But I think it is important for every Nigerian to spend this year thinking about what to do to make Nigeria more secure, peaceful, prosperous and united.“I don’t think Nigeria can lose a day or a year in its history by sitting down to find a solution to its problems and employment to that person looking for a job.”
Symington, who disclosed that he has toured the 36 states of the federation, however, noted that the country was full of untapped potentials, urging government at all levels to develop human and material resources that abound in the country.
He further charged Nigerians to believe more in themselves, and look inwards for solutions to the challenges facing the country instead of depending on other countries for solutions.
Vice Chancellor of UI, Professor Idowu Olayinka, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Professor Emilolorun Aiyelari and top management of the institution, as well as senior officials of the US embassy in Nigeria, among others attended the event.
He said the U.S. envoy’s visit to the university was an indication of the continued cordial relationship between UI and the U.S. Consulate General in Nigeria, especially its Public Affairs division.He thanked the Consulate for its continued support to the institution, particularly in making opportunities available to Nigerian scholars in the U.S. to members of the university, as well as the collaborations through the Fulbright Programme.