Ex-President Jonathan at World Peace Forum, Urges Leaders to Avoid Ego

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged world leaders to aspire to meet their social obligations to those they govern as a means of minimising conflicts and attaining a more peaceful society. 

The ex-President also charged those who lead others to always adopt a conscience-based approach rather than resorting to the dictates of their ego which, according to him, had brought untold hardship to humanity across the ages. 

Dr. Jonathan gave this advice in key note address entitled ‘Conscience Based Leadership: The Secret to Global Peace and Security’ which he delivered Friday at a World Summit holding in Kuching, Malaysia. The Summit jointly organised by the State of Sarawak and Junior Chamber

International (JCI) had in attendance 700 young leaders from 102 countries. 

Noting that conscience builds a society while ego destroys it, ex-President Jonathan further said: “The best leadership flows from inspiration and not from power or force of arms. You can only inspire people when your leadership is governed by your conscience and the support of the led.  “Power-centric leadership is ego based. Looking at human history in the last 100 years, you would notice that ego-based leadership has brought untold hardship to humanity and set us back decades. On the contrary, conscience based leadership has again and again, been shown to be the only type of leadership that can engender world peace, progress and unity.” 

Jonathan reminded leaders that a recent report on the Global Peace Index indicated that the cost of creating and containing violence in 2016 alone stood at $14.3 trillion which was about 12.6% of world GDP.

“If anything, this colossal effort which is directed at fighting already lit fires, should tell us where to place our priorities. That would be concentrating our efforts on those deliveries that make our people human, keep them safe and cater to their happiness, rather than spending so much, just to show our might. 

Jonathan also used the opportunity to highlight what his administration did to build a peaceful society, especially in the areas of education, promoting democracy, economic empowerment and youth entrepreneurship as well as successful mediations for peace in the West African sub-region.  

He said further: “I had made the point that giving our youth the right education, providing job opportunities and business skills will help the world become more secure and peaceful. But beyond that, nations can significantly reduce conflicts through limitations placed on arms. 

“There is no gainsaying the fact that uncontrolled spread of small arms and light weapons had been responsible for the sustenance of major conflicts in Africa and other parts of the world.” 

“If leaders were to match their words with action in meeting their obligation to the people, there is no doubt that we will be moving closer to the peaceful world we all dream of.  But how can we attain that state when those dictatorial traits including ego, authoritarianism, supremacy battle, fight for territories and the tendency to distort existing order, which threaten global peace and cause wars, are still very much with us? 

“Let me reiterate, therefore, that there is no better way of achieving global peace and security than submitting ourselves, as individuals, young people, political leaders, organisations and other members of the human race, to the dictates of our good consciences.” 

That way, we will be able to build the world that is close to our dreams, and restore the dignity which God Almighty has given to man as the master of His creation.”