By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The United States of America Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Stuart Symington on Monday tasked Nigerians to believe in Nigeria and create peaceful and conducive atmosphere ahead of 2019
Ambassador Symington made the call in Ibadan while speaking at this year’s organised to mark the 2018 World Earth Day held at the University of Ibadan.
The US Envoy pointed out that in doing this, the time has come for every Nigerian to focus on how to make the country better for the incoming generations by looking for the solutions to the problem facing the country from within and not from the outside.
“Nigeria means more than the people. What has brought you together as a nation is the people and the people being able to say that believe in the Nigerian dream. For me, the most important thing is the people but without the people, there can’t be Nigeria. I have three ideas to share with you: you, diversity and resilience”he said.
Ambassador Symington added that “many Nigerians will spend much of this year thinking about what will happen in 2019. My mind said that it is extraordinary important for every Nigerian to spend this year thinking about what to do to make Nigeria more secured, peaceful, prosperous and united.”
“Nigerians must continue to think of what to do to make the country greater. When it comes to diversity, the treasures of Nigeria are explored. The diversity of Nigeria is extraordinary not only in the people but in the place and the natural endowments. I want you to think of the forest not as a forest but as a future. You must learn to use the existence of the forest to make money and life. Discourage those who sell bush meats by not buying and use social media to expose those who smuggles animals that are endangered species.”
According to him, “there are trees in the forest that produces foods, cloths and all that are needed. It is all about the people, their resilience and their diversity. Don’t just save the earth, make it better and make all of us the beneficiaries better.”
Emphasizing that Nigerians should place themselves above their leaders who were only at the helms of affairs for a while, the US Ambassador said “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.”
Ambassador Symington stressed further that “in the first year of my stay in Nigeria, I traveled to all the 36 states of the country. Everywhere I reached; people said they have leadership challenge at the local, state and national levels. My first reaction to push back the question is that the nation is in democracy, the people are the leaders, they are the government. You did it in 2015.”
Speaking on leadership in the country, the US Ambassador said,
“two weeks ago, I was in Kaduna and I suddenly realised that there is a challenge because there are two sides to leadership; the leader and the ship” saying, “in a democracy, the people are the ship, the pilot is only there for a time but the ship remains. The most important thing is not what Nigeria will do in 2019 but what they will do now because they are the ship.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Idowu Olayinka in his message declared that the presence of the US Ambassador in the institution “is an indication of the continued cordial relationship between University of Ibadan and the U.S Consulate General in Nigeria, especially its Public Affairs Section.