The United States Consul General in Lagos has said that Nigeria will not split in spite of her current socio-political problems.
Speaking in Lagos at a press conference on the premiere of the movie, Selma the US ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James F. Entwistle dismissed the widely rumoured insinuations that the American government had predicted that Nigeria would split anytime from year 2015.
In his remark, Mr. Entwistle said Nigeria is not different from all other countries in the world with various degrees of challenges but that would not make them split. He noted that his country, the United States has had her fair share of political challenges and that did not make her split.
The ambassador said Nigeria is a strong country that has not shown any sign of disintegration. He queried why people predict doom for the country rather than work towards its strength. ‘Do you want Nigeria to break up?’ he asked.
Earlier, founder, House on The Rock church, Pastor Paul Adefarasin admonished Nigerians to work towards peace and unity of the country.
In his press statement delivered at the event, Pastor Adefarasin said ‘’ knowing that peace is not the absence of tension but the presence of justice, we must ensure that peace, justice and equity are enshrined in Nigeria.’’
He warned that interest of Nigeria cannot be determined along ethnic or religious lines noting that ‘the tragic events in parts of this country are a harsh reminder that dialogue, peace and religious tolerance are crucial to our continued existence’’.
On his part, the Nigerian-born British actor, David Oyelowo acknowledged the timeliness of his movie to the current political experience in Nigeria. He said it is a thing of joy for him to make a movie that would speak to the need of the country’s social and political development. Nigeria is country of birth and I spent seven years of my life here and we all must contribute our quota towards its development and the peaceful co-existence of the people living therein, he said.
Oyelowo wants every Nigerian to eschew violence and embrace peace, which he says is the central theme of Selma. He posited that it is legitimate to press for one’s rights under the law but cautioned that it must be done in a violence-free manner.
Pastor Adefarasin further reiterated the need to foster and promote non-violence before, during and after the general elections in Nigeria. He said the Rock Foundation has partnered with the United States Mission to Nigeria to premiere the movie Selma, which chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. ‘ we are using the movie Selma to speak to and embed in the consciousness of Nigerians the benefits of employing non-violent methods to achieve a credible transition in a peaceful atmosphere devoid of fear-stoked actions’’ he said.