US Envoy, Fayemi Urge Nigerians To Reflect On The Life Of Luther King
THE United States (US) Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle has urged Nigerians to conduct non-violence and inclusive elections in line with what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood for in his lifetime.
Former governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi said that it is significant that Dr King is perhaps the greatest leader in American history that did not hold public office. He is rightly recognized as the leading luminary and prime exponent of the civil rights revolution.
Speaking during Eisenhower Fellowship Alumni Leadership Series Launch in honour of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in Abuja, Entwistle said that he is looking forward to next month election with eager anticipation.
“ I have no doubt that it will be boisterous, loud and hotly-contested and that’s all good. But all of us must do everything we can, in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to ensure that exuberance does not descend into violence.
“That is the vision and the dream that Martin Luther King, Jr. brought alive in my country and for which he sacrificed his life—and to which brave people all over the world still give voice as they, in the spirit of Dwight Eisenhower, establish peace and justice as two sides of the same coin.”
Fayemi said that King was by no means a lone ranger “Although his powerful oratory and sacrificial leadership by example inspired many, the progress of civil rights in America cannot be ascribed to Dr King alone.”
He said that in reality, the civil rights evolution of the 1960s was the result of the actions of millions of citizens that rose up to claim their rights as citizens.
Fayemi added that one of the most interesting conundrums of our democracy is the relentless search for political messiahs through the ballot.
“We are constantly on the lookout for that exceptionally gifted individual that possesses the magic wand or the Midas touch, whose ascent into high office will supernaturally resolve all our national problems.”
The US Embassy in Nigeria also yesterday applauded President Goodluck Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari for their signing of a non-violence pledge, the “Abuja Accord,” by which they have publicly committed to refraining from advocating, fomenting, or condoning electoral violence. “ We encourage all candidates and political leaders across Nigeria to make similar pledges.”