The United States of America (USA), Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Stuart Symington has advised Nigerians to be concerned about the country being peaceful, united and prosperous rather than dominating the county’s space with issues about 2019 general elections.
Symington made this know during a visit to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ibadan and a brief media parley held with journalists at lakeside of the institute on Monday.
The US envoy while lauding the potentials in the country, tasked youths and country men to be more concerned about seeing Nigeria as a peaceful country this year instead of focusing more attention on the forthcoming 2019 polls.
While insisting that Nigeria boasted of rich human and natural resources, Symington said every Nigerian should advance ideas, institutions and symbols that would make the country richer, stronger and more peaceful this year.
Symington, who spoke with various groups, including top management staff of IITA led by its Director General, Nteranya Sanginga, journalists, students, researchers and workers of the institute during the interactive session, challenged those present to change the unpalatable news about the country.
He, however lauded the diversity, resilience, wisdom and energy of Nigerians as extraordinary, urging institutions like University of Ibadan and the IITA where he visited to continue to produce the greatest products for the improvement of the nation.
Symington while speaking on untapped resources across the country, specifically enjoined Nigerians to especially “commit their lives to preserving the nation’s land resources and treasures like lakes, lagoons, mounts, animals and forests.”
He said ” I want to challenge you, you are the eyes of Nigeria, you are also the eyes and ears of Nigeria. Yankari game reserve in Bauchi is one of the most beatuful in the world, how many of you have been to Obudu cattle ranch? How many have been to Lokoja in Kogi state? These are beautiful places. Nigerians are very blessed.
“What I want to do is to help Nigerians hear Nigeria. Help Nigerians see Nigeria. So Nigerians should think about this year rather than 2019. There is no Nigerians without Nigeria.”
Symington while calling for the preservation of the earth, which he described as a factory of life, urged Nigerians to improve the earth and not deplete it.
He bemoaned the herdsmen/farmers clashes in Nigeria which threatened the nation’s coexistence, calling on the government to regulate cattle rearing.
Drawing from experience in the United States, Symington said the government and cattle owners could achieve a win-win situation if the government took over the rearing of cattle using control ranches and gave returns to the cow owners.