Agbaje, Ambode Sign Peace Deal Ahead Of Elections

Agbaje_ambodeTwo governorship candidates in the forthcoming general elections in Lagos State on Monday signed a Peace Pledge committing them to non-violence before, during and after the elections.

The Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Jimi Agbaje and All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Akin Ambode signed the plede at the official residence of the United States Consul-General in Lagos, Jeffrey Hawkins, in the presence of the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, James F. Entwistle, as well as Nigerian religious leaders.

Other signatories to the document include Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins, the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Imam Abdulrahman Ahmad, National Missioner of Ansar-ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Pastor Paul Adefarasin, Senior Pastor and prelate of House on the Rock, and Sheikh Abdurrahman Adangba, National Missioner of Fatil-ul-Qareeb Islamic Society.

The U.S. Secretary of State, Mr John Kerry, had joined several other people calling for a violence-free elections when he visited Nigeria in January.

Mr Kerry spoke with the presidential candidates of the two main parties, President Goodluck Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Kerry, in a meeting with General Buhari in Ikoyi, Lagos, said that the United States President, Barrack Obama, was interested in Nigeria, being the largest economy in Africa.

He also said that the U.S. was concerned about Nigeria’s security situation because of the threat that Boko Haram has posed in recent times.

This will be the second meeting the American authorities have held with only candidates of the two major political parties in Nigeria.

US Ambassador Commends University’s Community Service Initiative

US Ambassador The US Ambassador to Nigeria, James F. Entwistle, has acknowledged the community development service of the American University of Nigeria (AUN), saying its academic excellence and development initiatives can be a huge solution to Africa’s development challenges.

He was speaking in Yola, Adamawa State north-east Nigeria, at the end of a three-day visit with his wife, Dr. Pamela Schmoll, where he extolled the contribution of AUN to deepening US-Nigeria relationship which according to him dates back some decades ago.

“The US and Nigeria have been doing fantastic things together for decades. Look at this University, that stands as a testimony to the American-Nigeria relationship.

“I’ve been very impressed with AUN, not just what you’re doing in terms of education, but what you’re doing to make the world around you a better place. For the many activities that you engage in off-campus, I have to give AUN pretty high marks,” the Ambassador said.

Reflecting further, the Ambassador appreciates the efforts of AUN’s community service as being of great interest to the US Government saying, “The US Government is very interested in the many activities that you engage in off-campus.

“I had a spectacular session yesterday morning with the AUN-Adamawa Peace Initiative as they talked to me about what they are doing to support Internally Displaced Persons. We are looking at supporting their efforts through the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Different activities like that might be appropriate for US Government involvement.”

During his three-day visit to AUN, the US top diplomat in Nigeria also had an interactive session with the larger AUN community and interacted with students, faculty and staff, before addressing a press conference to mark the end of his visit to the institution.

The US Ambassador also invited emerging Africans to tap into the ongoing Young African Leadership Initiative, a program aimed at empowering African youths.

President of America University in Nigeria, Margee Ensign, who introduced the Ambassador to the dignitaries, traced the history of AUN to the life-changing encounter the Founder and former Nigeria’s Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, had with US Peace Corps volunteers who taught him when he was a young boy.

The initiative, according to her, encouraged him to think independently and helped him imbibe the self-discipline and intellectual curiosity, which in turn informed his passion for establishing and funding the best private university anywhere in Nigeria.

The “US Peace Corps Association had awarded the Global Citizenship Award to His Excellency Atiku Abubakar for his unparalleled generosity to higher education on the continent.”

She said that the American University in Nigeria (AUN) is the first American University in sub Sub-Saharan Africa and the second in the whole of Africa after the American University in Cairo, Egypt and working assiduously towards human and capacity development

She said that the institution established ten years ago is working towards the realization of the set up objectives of developing entrepreneurship, pointing out that it is achieving that already.

The President said that the visit of the US Ambassador signified that Adamawa and Yola in particular is safe. She called on the people to collaborate towards the sustenance of peace in the area and the country as a whole.

US Ambassador Assures Of Bilateral Ties Between United States And Nigeria

United StatesThe Ambassador of United States of America to Nigeria, James F. Entwistle, says the cordial relationship between his country and Nigeria is a mutually beneficial rapport that will have a lasting development impact, not just on Nigeria, but on the African continent as a whole.

He was speaking on Thursday in Yola, Adamawa State, when he visited the American University of Nigeria (AUN) where he held interaction with students and lecturers of the institution.

Addressing the students and lecturers as well as dignitaries at the occasion, Mr. James Entwistle appreciated the growing relationship between Nigeria and the United States and gave assurances that the US Government would continue to partner with Nigeria towards achieving political, social and economic success for the development of the country which by extension would also have a positive effect on the African continent as a whole.

He expressed optimism that Nigeria would overcome in its war on terrorism, pointing out that the United States would continue to accord Nigeria the desired support to triumph over the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Nigeria and the US, according to him, share things in common, citing example with the menace of terrorism which both countries are collaborating towards ending.

He expressed confidence in Nigeria, saying the country has great potentials and commended the efforts of the country in stamping out the Ebola virus.

The President of the institution, Margee Ensign, appreciated the founder of the institution, Atiku Abubakar, whom she said, is currently sharing the vision of American style of university education with Nigeria.

She said that the institution is achieving its goal and also building the democracy which Nigeria and the US share in common.