- Gives keynote speech at US university, receives award
Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, was at the weekend honoured by the cities of Antioch and Lathrop in the United States for promoting peace and democracy in Africa.
At the award ceremony, the Mayor of the city of Antioch, Mayor Wade Harper, expressed his admiration for Jonathan and declared that the city of Antioch, California, was proud of his legacies, especially his act of overseeing free, fair and conclusive elections and leaving the scene when the ovation was loudest.
He recommended Jonathan’s behaviour to other leaders.
Jonathan, who was represented by Mr. Reno Omokri, gave a goodwill message to the two cities that had gathered to honor him as well as to the Nigerian community in the Bay Area of California.
Jonathan said he was “proud of Nigerians in the diaspora and more so of Nigerians in the US and even more so of the Nigerian diaspora in California.”
Continuing, the former President said Nigerians in the diaspora were an asset to Nigeria who remitted over $20 billion home annually, “much more than the World Bank, IMF and foreign direct investment.”
Jonathan ended by saying he was proud of diaspora Nigerians and tried to show his appreciation for their support of Nigeria by ensuring that during his time in office at least three direct flights were initiated between America and Nigeria to ease travel challenges and reduce costs for travellers to Nigeria.
Also, former President Jonathan gave the keynote speech at the Cal State University’s Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution’s 25th annual Africa/Diaspora conference, in Sacramento, California, on April 23, 2016.
Also represented by Mr. Reno Omokri, Jonathan received an award by the center in recognition of his role in promoting democracy and peace in Nigeria and Africa.
Speaking at the event, the representative of the former Nigerian leader spoke on the role Jonathan played in ensuring that Nigerian remained at peace in the aftermath of the 2015 elections thus defeating doomsday prophets who had speculated that Nigeria may disintegrate based on the outcome of the polls.
Jonathan said: “Democracy is the panacea to most conflicts in Africa, and that is why the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation is committed to strengthening democracy throughout Africa by building capacity within electoral institutions and engendering willingness to accept the results of the people freely given via a transparent election process.”
Continuing, the former President said “Until democracy is strong internally, you cannot be effective against conflict and terrorism internally and externally.”
The provost of the university, Professor Mike Lee, praised the outstanding character displayed by Jonathan and called for others leaders to emulate his conscience driven leadership.
The Director of the centre, Professor Ernest Uwazie, also commended the former President and declared that his conduct during the elections made him one of the few statesmen with the moral authority to speak on democratic issues in Africa.