ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – President Goodluck Jonathan has said he would become peace ambassador after May 29 when he leaves office, saying his new job would be to reduce discrimination in the country based on religious divides or ethnicity.
Jonathan said this after he was presented with the 2015 Epitome of Peace Award by the Field Superintendent of The Apostolic Church Nigeria, Federal Capital Territory Field, Apostle John Buzu, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the award came with additional responsibility which he was willing and ready to carry out.
Buzu said Jonathan was given the award as a result of the memorable legacy of peace which he has bequeathed to Nigeria and Nigerians as a result of conceding elections even before the final result was announced.
The President, who thanked the Apostolic Church Nigeria, FCT chapter for considering him fit for the award, said there were many unknown Nigerians sacrificing for the nation while others were lucky that every action they took was being seen and rewarded publicly.
He said, “I sincerely thank you for considering me fit for this honour that you have just bestowed on me.
“All of us do a number of things every day. People have saved this country, we don’t even know some of them or what they did but some people are a bit luckier that their actions are noticed and sometimes rewarded.
“You have also noticed me with my little contribution, not just because I am the President of the country but because of an action I took that you believe saved lives and you are honouring me.
“To whom much is given, much is expected. For you to honour me today, you have given me another mandate to work harder to ensure that we as Nigerians continue to live in peace.
“One thing I have decided I will do after leaving office is to be talking to faithful of all religions: Christians, Muslims and other religions, on the need for Nigerians to live in peace.
“This is because when there is crisis in any part of the country, nobody can practise his own religion. If there is crisis anywhere, people cannot go to the mosque, they cannot go to the church.
“We need peace in this country, no matter our religion or belief. That will be one of my main commitments when I leave office: to reduce discrimination in this country based on religious divides or ethnicity. I believe I will have so many apostles that will follow me to do that.
“I thank you for your decoration. I am grateful for the insignia given to me: the plaque, the medal and the dress are quite unique. They will be very conspicuous in my presidential museum or library so that even after 50 years, people will still see and appreciate what you have done today even if I have left this world and have gone beyond, what you have done will still be displayed in my library for people to see”.
Buzu said, “As far as your political career is concerned, you have been very vocal to declare that ‘your political ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian’, revealing your strong belief and respect for the sanctity of human life. This great character of peace and rejection of any form of violence was unexpectedly demonstrated by your humility, willingness and readiness to accept the results of the last presidential election and relinquish power to the new President-elect. Of a truth, ‘we triumph without glory when we conquer without danger’ – Pierre Corneille. Also, the great philosopher, Aristole, said ‘I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is the victory over self’.
“Your personal call to congratulate the President-elect was unprecedented and went a long way to bring the much desired peace to the nation. You are a genius and an icon of peace… sincerely speaking, all the INEC Voters’ card machine readers operated by ordinary men and women in all the polling booths all over the country could not have given Nigerians peace, but for the singular act of one extraordinary man – Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. This feat stands you out as the icon and epitome of peace of modern Nigerian politics and democracy, hence your qualification for this great award.”
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