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2015: US won’t dictate to Nigeria, says ambassador

US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle

United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, has assured that his country will support Nigeria to conduct a credible election but will not dictate to the country.

He stated this when he visited Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, in Makurdi, where he also met with religious and community leaders.

The visit was part of his tour of northern Nigeria, to interact with the people, learn more about the security issues in the region and to share the country’s wishes for peaceful elections, good governance, development opportunities and a better future for Nigeria.

In a statement issued by the Embassy in Abuja, Entwistle emphasised the importance of US and Nigeria bilateral relationship in terms of trade and economics, democracy issues, shared security and advancing access for all Nigerians to education and health resources.

He said the 2015 elections would be an important test for Nigeria, and urged politicians, the media and individual Nigerians to make a pledge “that they will not advocate, support or condone violence before, during or after the elections.”

According to him, the US will lend its support to Nigeria’s efforts, but will not dictate to Nigeria.

The statement quoted him as saying, “Nigeria has great potential.  Your diversity should be a source of strength, not strife.  People must learn to tolerate and get along with each other.  Across the globe, history has shown that countries that make progress are those whose communities live in peace with each other.”

Entwistle said with the North’s strong tradition of inter-faith cooperation, the US would support efforts aimed at promoting tolerance, and assist both government and civil society to promote transparency and accountability, strengthen media, and support national and local elections.

“The ambassador will also visit Nasarawa and Plateau states as part of his tour of the Middle Belt North Central region,” the statement added.

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