ABUJA- Former President Goodluck Jonathan has been conferred with the “African Democracy and Peace Icon’’ award at the maiden edition of the African Heritage Concert and Awards in Kigali.
His media aide, Mr Ikechukwu Eze stated in Abuja on Monday that Jonathan advised at the award ceremony that African leaders should always seek to improve the lives of the peoples they serve.
He quoted Jonathan as saying that such legacy of good works would speak for the leaders after they had left office.
Jonathan also advised leaders to prioritise the rights and humanity of the citizens, adding that the welfare of citizens should guide national aspirations and development initiatives on the continent.
He said the duty of leaders was to run their countries properly and efficiently, and “not to dehumanise human beings and make their lives difficult.
“What people will remember you for is what should guide your decisions.
“I believe every leader should begin to think that when he leaves office one day, he will be remembered one way or the other, positively or negatively.
“Will the world remember you for killing people? Will the world remember you for unnecessarily jailing people? Will the world remember you for destroying their systems?
“Or will you be remembered for doing well,’’? he queried.
Jonathan also thanked the organisers of the event, Heritage Times for a successful programme, saying that such gesture of appreciation would encourage African leaders to do more towards improving the lives of the people.
“I was president of Nigeria for only five years.
“I believe the little contributions I made within that period and probably after leaving office might have convinced the organisers to honour me as the Icon of Democracy and Peace in Africa.
“This means that it is not actually how long you stay in office that will make people remember you, but how well you served them and the little impact you make.” he said.
Other award recipients at the ceremony were former President of Tanzania, deceased Mr John Magufuli (post-humous); Vice President of Liberia, Chief Dr Jewel Howard-Taylor and former President of Botswana, Seretse Ian Khama. (NAN)