Nigeria Beacon of Hope to Africa, World, Says US Envoy

William Stuart Symington

United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, has said Nigeria is a beacon of hope not only to West Africa, but to Africa and the world, stressing that whatever affects the country affects the world.

Symington stated this yesterday in Abuja at a two-day practical and visual training workshop organised for Journalists by the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy.

The training was organised for political reporters, editors and sub editors as part of the US Embassy’s support to Nigeria on the processes leading to the 2019 General Elections.

The envoy, who stressed the need for the country to get it right at the elections, said the country was important because whatever affected Nigeria would rub up on other parts of the world.

He, however, charged the Nigerian media to be the credible link between every citizen and the government.

According to him, leadership is a ship formed by every citizen even before they reach voting age, stressing that citizens should determine the course of the ship, whether it sinks or floats.

He added that there must be a two-way communication to make a “ship” to work and arrive at its desired destination.

The ambassador further said the media remained the conduit connecting the people and the government in every democracy, because it had the responsibility to pass the message that would make the difference.

He urged Nigerian journalists to be thorough and keep politicians on their toes by asking relevant questions, especially on how they intended to turn the country’s fortunes around for good.

The workshop, which was attended by representatives of various media organisations was also held at the American Space in Ibadan, Bauchi, Kano and Calabar simultaneously.

Resource persons at the workshop included a Professor of Journalism at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, Mr. Gary Kebbel; Managing Editor, Voice of America, Aliyu Mustapha, and Chairman of Board of Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalist, Mr. Musikilu Mojeed.