Former President Goodluck Jonathan was named a ‘Symbol of Peace’ in the inaugural edition of the 100 Most Notable Peace Icons in Africa honor.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), he was presented with the award on Thursday in Abuja by the ‘100 Most Notable Peace Icons in Africa’ project team at the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation.
According to Amb. Kingsley Amafibe, Project Director Africa for the 100 Most Notable Peace Icons in Africa, the honor was given in honour of Jonathan’s efforts to preserving Nigeria’s peace and unity amid predictions of disintegration.
Although the 100 peace icons were people who used their talents, positions, and resources to develop and promote peace across Africa, Jonathan stood out as the continent’s ‘Symbol of Peace,’ he added.
According to him, the 100 Most Notable Peace Icons in Africa committee chose Jonathan for the prestigious award following extensive deliberations across the continent.
“Goodluck Jonathan is a symbol of peace, a symbol of sacrifice for the fatherland, and an example of true leadership who serves as a role model for young people not only in Nigeria, but throughout Africa.”
“He made an unprecedented sacrifice by accepting the results of the 2015 Presidential election, true to his words that his political ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.”
“That act of patriotism, which ensured a peaceful civilian-to-civilian transition, saved our dear country and the continent from impending chaos and predictions of Nigeria’s disintegration.”
“He thus stands tall today among the 100 most notable peace icons, previously announced, who have dedicated their lives to promoting peace and justice in their communities, countries, and the world at large.”
“As we honor these remarkable individuals, we are reminded of the importance of their work and the impact it has had on the world,” Amafibe added.
In his acceptance address, Jonathan thanked the organizers for the award and emphasized his commitment to Nigeria’s peace, unity, and growth.
As a result, he urged African leaders at all levels to adopt democratic values in order to create a better continent for all.
According to NAN, Jonathan made history when he quickly called to congratulate his opponent, Muhammadu Buhari, after conceding loss in the presidential election on March 29, 2015.
The move averted predictions of horrific carnage in Nigeria and honored his vow that he would not allow the blood of a Nigerian to be shed to further his political goals.
That act of selflessness has continued to echo around the world over the years, earning the former president both local and international honours, including the African Sun Times’ International Person of the Year 2015.
Others include the Peace-Loving Global Citizen, African Democracy and Peace Icon, and the Martin Luther King Human Rights Award, which he received as the first African leader.