U.S. en­voy tasks Nige­ri­ans on peace, unity ahead of 2019 polls

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - From Muyiwa Adeyemi (Head, South West Bureau, Ibadan)

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.

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