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US denies predicting Nigeria break-up by 2015

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The United States (U.S.) Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle, has denied a report that Nigeria will disintegrate in 2015, saying such prediction is very false which has no backing of the
American government.
He stated this yesterday when he led a delegation to the University of Jos on a courtesy visit. Entwistle’s team was received by the Vice Chancellor, Prof.
Hayward Mafuyai and other management staff of the institution.
According to the ambassador, no U.S. official has ever said that Nigeria will disintegrate in 2015. “My government has never said that. Rather, I see Nigeria having a successful democratic election in 2015 and the government of the U.S. will support it. Take the
issue of disintegration off your mind because Nigeria will not disintegrate.”
Entwistle said the U.S. is looking forward to seeing peaceful elections, good governance, development opportunities and better future for Nigeria. He praised the efforts of the military in fighting
terrorism, adding that the U.S. is going to assist Nigeria greatly in containing the insurgency.
Answering a question from the university academic community, he said America is ready for a female president in the U.S.
In his comments during the meeting, Ambassador Entwistle emphasised the importance of U.S.-Nigeria bilateral relationship in terms of trade and economics, democracy issues, partnering on
shared security, and advancing access for all Nigerians to education and health resources. He said the 2015 elections will 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 election.”
He said the U.S. will lend its support to Nigeria’s efforts, but will not dictate to Nigeria.
Entwistle also met with members of the U.S. government- supported Conflict Mitigation Council, and learned about the process of USAID’s technical contributions to peace and reconciliation efforts in Plateau State.
He said: “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.”
The Vice Chancellor said it is heartwarming to note that the U.S.
government has been quite supportive at the level of staff training and development of the university. “Many academic members of staff of the university enjoyed one training opportunity or the other with funds provided by the U.S. government.
“The Fulbright Fellowship programme, in particular, has helped immensely in building capacity of academic members of staff in the university. The University of Jos has benefited through collaborations with a number of American universities. The Department of Zoology has been supported by the USAID through Abt Associates for Malaria Vector Control Programme in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
“The American Corner in our university has strengthened cultural ties between our peoples. However, the university, like Oliver
Twist, will continue to ask for more of these opportunities to be extended to its young academics to help them finish their doctoral programmes.

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