Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has called on African leaders to adhere to the rule of law, prioritise equality and justice in order to build a continent of peace, prosperity and development.
Jonathan made the call during the Ninth African Leadership Magazine Person of the Year Award virtual ceremony held at the weekend, where he was awarded the African Peace and Security Leader of the Year 2020.
In his acceptance remarks, Jonathan said: “For peace to reign, those who wield power should respect the Rule of Law, be fair to all and dispense justice in a manner that promotes equity and boosts the people’s confidence in their nation.
“When politicians undermine democratic principles and usurp citizens’ rights, it creates a situation that impacts negatively on peace and development,” he said.
Underscoring the importance of democracy, stable leadership, and peace and development, Jonathan said: “In Africa, it appears we see the political process as a civil war or a fraudulent enterprise that has no rules. This is unhealthy for our polity as it impedes our development.
“More than in any other parts of the world, self-centred and egocentric contests for power by African politicians had, more often than not, unleashed widespread violence and insurgency on the African soil.
The former president further added: “Peace in our continent is mainly threatened by political instability, poor democratic practices, and weak institutions. Many African nations that are today mired in conflicts, or just emerging from one, often have such crises rooted in the struggle for leadership.
“I always make the point that there is a clear link between a nation’s social and economic standing and its position in the global conflict index. Nations with fewer conflicts and more stable leadership tend to be richer and better off in the human development profile.
“The nations with the lowest progress on the official United Nations Human Development Index, many of them in Africa, are those that are either poorly governed or embroiled in leadership struggles.”