The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Stuart Symington, on Wednesday urged Nigerians to unite in the fight against insecurity irrespective of their religious and ethnic differences.
Symington, gave the advice in his address at the 242nd Independence anniversary celebration been organised by the U.S. Embassy in Abuja.
He decried unsuspected killings of innocent people and insecurity which has also affected the nation’s development process.
He therefore urged Nigerians to unite no matter their religious and ethnic differences, to find a lasting solution to the problem of security.
Symington said “Nigeria’s leaders and citizens have it in their power to make this killings stop now, if you are united in religions, occupation and all faiths.
‘‘When you act together with sincerity, high purpose and sustained efforts, you will end this violence.
‘‘This is not a goal, this is the Cup itself and it will mean the World for you to lift it high.
‘‘Security that lasts depends on strong citizens who support each other and their governments.
‘‘It is as much a product of trust forged by opportunities shared and rules fairly enforced on level playing fields, as it is the product of force wisely applied to answer threats.’’
He further advised Nigerian leaders to mentor young people in the course of nation building process to promote national growth.
According to him, “we will start with calling on our diplomatic colleagues to reach out to 170, 000 persons in Young African Leaders Initiative network on our line of mentoring site.’’
In a remark, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, said that Nigeria and U.S. relations began since the nation’s independence on October 1, 1960.
Onyeama, represented by Amb. Modupe Quist, Chief of Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, urged the U.S. to support Nigeria in the area of security, to ensure sustainable growth.
According to Onyeama, the relationship between the U.S. and Nigeria has remained cordial since our independence.
‘‘As the U.S. celebrates her independence in history; I am confident that the strong and existing friendship between our countries will continue to be harness.
‘‘We express our profound appreciation to the American government for assistance to Nigeria over the years especially, in area of security towards fights against terrorism.
‘‘We look forward to your continued support through construction and rehabilitation of internally displaced persons camps, humanitarian assistance and fight against terrorism in the north – east,’’ Onyeama said.
The U.S. Independence Day celebration was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.