In continuation of his tour of northern Nigeria, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria James F. Entwistle made his first visit to Yola, capital of Adamawa State, October 7-9 to interact with residents, learn more about regional security issues, and share the U.S. desire for peaceful elections, good governance, development opportunities, and a better future for Nigeria.
Speaking to a capacity-filled hall at the American University of Nigeria on October 8, Ambassador Entwistle charged Nigerians to see their votes as a powerful tool and the most important element in the coming general elections.
“Your vote is a powerful tool and the most important element in any democracy; do not sell your vote, use it in the coming elections.”
To stem electoral violence, Ambassador Entwistle pressed further with his campaign that all Nigerians take the pledge not to advocate, support, or condone violence before, during, or after the elections. “If you visit the embassy web site, there is a You Tube video where I have encouraged every Nigerian to take the pledge of non-violence during these elections,” he said.
Ambassador Entwistle met with a cross section of people in Yola, including former Adamawa State Acting Governor Umaru Finitiri, the Lamido of Adamawa, His Royal Highness Dr. Muhammadu Barkindo Musdafa, members of the Adamawa Peace Council, students and faculty of the American University of Nigeria, and resident Independent National Electoral Commissioner Kassim Gaidam.
During these meetings, the Ambassador emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Nigeria relationship, partnering on shared security interests, trade and development, access to an education for all Nigerians, and upholding democratic principles for the achievement of free and fair elections.