AS conversations about the 2019 elections dominate the nation’s space, United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington has said Nigerians should rather be more concerned about the country being peaceful, united, secure and prosperous this year.
Noting that the nation boasted of rich human and natural resources, Symington said every Nigerian should actually advance ideas, institutions, symbols that would make the country richer, stronger and more peaceful this year.
Symington, who spoke at the University of Ibadan, on Monday, at an event to commemorate the 2018 World Earth Day, said once peaceful coexistence is sustained this year, he expected Nigerians to be able to make informed choices in the 2019 elections.
He lauded the diversity, resilience, wisdom and energy of Nigerians as extraordinary, urging educational institutions to continue to produce the greatest products for the improvement of the nation.
Speaking further, he enjoined Nigerians to especially commit their lives to preserving the nation’s land resources and treasures like lakes, lagoons, mounts, animals and forests.
Especially, Symington urged Nigeria to preserve forests for Agric production purposes as well as institutions like the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) with its potentials to generate agricultural innovations to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger, malnutrition and poverty.
In addition to calling for the perseveration of the earth which he described as a factory of life, Symington 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.
Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Idowu Olayinka, represented by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Professor Emilolorun Aiyelari, decried desertification of forests and destruction of farms by grazing activities of herdsmen.
He assured of the research collaboration between the University of Ibadan and the United States consulate towards addressing environmental problems, which he noted threatened the continued existence of humanity.
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