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US envoy, Fayemi task voters on election

By Debo Oladimeji Lagos and Abosede Musari Abuja   |   15 January 2015   |   8:37 pm  

UNITED States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle Thursday urged Nigerians to exercise their rights in the coming elections by voting, saying this is the most important weapon to have credible leaders.

 Entwhistle said in Abuja at a programme organised by Eisenhower Fellowship Alumni Association of Nigeria to mark the birthday of American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr that speaking on the lessons learnt from the non-violence approach of Dr. King said, “all over the world, including in my country, people have struggled and in some cases died to obtain the right to vote, so, I urge all Nigerians who are eligible to vote to do so.

In attendance were Senator Muhammad Markafi and former governor Kayode Fayemi.

“Vote it is one of the most powerful weapons in the world. Having seen African-Americans attacked in the streets and now, fifty years later, having the privilege of working for an African-American President of the United States, I am convinced that genuine change through the democratic process is absolutely possible. I know this because I have seen it in my own lifetime in my own country. It may not happen overnight, it may take decades, but it is absolutely possible,” Entwhistle stressed, 

As Dr. King taught Americans, and as he taught the world, “non-violence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.

“In like manner, former governor Fayemi urged politicians to watch their words, stressing that politicians through their actions or inactions have helped to fan violence, hence he insisted that they are best to stop political violence by what they say. 

Fayemi pointed out that public opinion has been that bad leaders were responsible for the country’s numerous woes, with many believing that a strong individual can singularly effect change.

 “One of the interesting thing in our democracy is the relentless search for a messiah, we are always on the look out for that single individual that possesses the magic wand or the Midas touch that will supernaturally resolve all our national problems.” But he was quick to say, “no man is an island.”



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