2015: U.S. ambassador commends media, others, for promoting non-violence

THE U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, has commended the Nigerian media, civil society groups and artistes for promoting non-violence as well as free and fair elections in February.

Entwistle gave the commendation on Thursday at the launch of “The Eisenhower Leadership Series” in honour of the late Martin Luther King Jnr.

The ceremony, which was simultaneously held in Lagos and Abuja, was organised by the Nigerian Alumni of the Eisenhower Fellowship and the U.S. Mission in Nigeria.

“Whenever I meet with a politician or a candidate here, I ask him or her to publicly take the non-violence pledge.

“That is, to state clearly in front of their fellow Nigerians that they will not condone, forment or endorse violence before, during or after the elections.

“I have no doubt that the elections will be boisterous, loud and hotly-contested and that is all good.

“But all of us must do everything we can, in the spirit of Dr Martin Luther King Jnr., to ensure that exuberance does not descend in violence,’’ he said.

He, however, urged eligible Nigerian voters to come out en-masse and exercise their franchise to vote for candidates of their choices.

“All over the world, including my country, people have struggled and in some cases died to obtain the right to vote.

“When we have the right to vote but do not use it, we disrespect our memory. So, I urge all Nigerians who are eligible to vote to do so.

“Vote is one of the most powerful weapons that we in large boisterous democracies like Nigeria and the United States have,’’ he said.

The envoy also enjoined Nigerians to embrace the ideals of non-violence as espoused by Luther King Jnr. in the conduct of next month’s elections.

A former governor of Ekiti, Dr Kayode Fayemi, also urged Nigerians to ensure that they get their Permanent Voters Cards so as to be able to participate in the elections.

Fayemi said participation in the elections would help Nigerians choose credible leaders as well as rebuild the nation. (NAN)

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