Nigeria’s former President and Chairman of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF), Dr Goodluck Jonathan, has said that peace and development can only be achieved in Africa when democracy is given a humanitarian face.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Jonathan stated this in Yenagoa Thursday when Dr Stephen Olali, the Chief Historian to the Bayelsa State Government, visited him at the Foundation’s headquarters to present his new book.
The book is entitled “16+34=50: The Life and Works of Stephen Temegha Olali (An Autobiographical Anthology)”.
The historian also officially unveiled his non-governmental organisation (NGO): Youth Life and Productivity Outreach – A Christian Charity.
Jonathan applauded the efforts of the author by compiling his life experiences on earth and his commitment to mentoring the youth of the Niger Delta in the areas of productivity and non- violence.
The former president pointed out that a violent electoral process could not produce good governance.
He said: “If Nigeria will grow as a nation then there is the need to change the nature of politics.
“Until people are allowed to vote or elect their leaders without intimidation and interference we cannot have good governance.
“As a leader, if you think you can shoot yourself to power then the people are irrelevant to you.
“But if you know that you can only get power by the will of the people then you have no option than to work for the interest of the people, protect the people and love them irrespective of where they come from.
“Nobody needs violence to win any elections. violence undermines the credibility of election.
“Whoever is supported by majority of the people will win elections, but the minority should be allowed to have their say. That is the whole essence of politics.”
According to the former president, as a nation, until we sincerely commit ourselves to peace building there won’t be any meaningful development.
“Society cannot be stable until there is peace and peace most times is as a result of justice in the society. There is a limit to which a society can develop in the absence of peace and democratic justice.
“It is good that you have birthed this idea of mentoring the youth towards productivity and peace building in the Niger Delta.
“And as a Foundation, we are committed to partnering such stakeholders with a view to building sustainable peace in Nigeria,” he said.
In his remarks, Olali explained that the NGO was established to mentor the Niger Delta youth towards entrepreneurship, adding that self-sufficiency would greatly reduce restiveness in the region.
“The essence of the NGO is to reach out to the youth concerning productivity anywhere they can be found specifically from Nembe to the other parts of the Niger Delta.
“Your Excellency, we pray that the Foundation looks into the direction of smaller NGOs like ours to enable us to reach out to a greater percentage of the population,” Olali said.
In Olali’s delegation to see the former President were: Prof. C.M. Sorgwe, Prof. S.N Agoro, Chief Seiyefa Koroye, Mr Piriye Kiyaramo and other elders and academics from the Niger Delta region. (NAN)