POLITICS: President Goodluck Jonathan & The Nobel Peace Prize

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By Efio-Ita Nyok |7 April 2015| 10:35am
The Nobel Prize is a set of awards in five fields -Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, & Peace; initiated by Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor, industrialist and armament manufacturer.
The Nobel Prize for Peace has been awarded annually since 1901to those who have “done the most
or the best work for fraternity between nations,
for the abolition or reduction of standing armies
and for the holding and promotion of peace
congresses”. There have been a handful of nominees and recipients. Prominent among these recipients are Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, President Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, etc. In this piece I intend to articulate a set of propositions advocating for the Nobel Prize for Peace to be awarded to Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the incumbent President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
28 March 2015 was set aside by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) for the conduction of the 2015 Presidential/National Assembly elections. It was a hotly contested presidential elections between the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and his arch-rival, namely, Major General Mohammadu Buhari(Rtd) of the foremost opposition party, the All Progressive Congress(APC). The later won the presidential election by a landslide margin of over 2.3 million votes!
On Monday 30th March with a few minutes past 5pm the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan picked his phone and put a call across to his opponent, Mohammadu Buhari, who was obviously the winner, before the votes were totally collated and the  winner was officially announced, to concede defeat. Below is the historic concession speech:
Caller : Your excellency, sir. Hope I’m speaking
with General Buhari, sir. President Goodluck
Jonathan would like to speak with you, sir.
Receiver: Yes. Okay, hold on.
Jonathan: Your Excellency
Receiver: Hold on, sir.
Buhari: Your Excellency
Jonathan: Your Excellency, how are you?
Buhari: I’m all right.
Jonathan: (Laughter) Congratulations
Buhari: Thank you very much, your Excellency.
Jonathan: So, how are things?
Buhari: Well, I’d congratulate you more
because you….
Jonathan: In a few days find time to come so
that we can sort out how to plan the
transitional period.
Buhari: Alright, Your Excellency. Thank you
very much
Jonathan: Okay, congratulations
Buhari: My respects, Your Excellency. Thank
The speech was unprecedented and outwitted some. It etched the incumbent’s name in gold. Through this singular statesmanly act an anticipated civil war in Nigeria was averted. Because should have Jonathan refused to honour the results by INEC then there would have been a military take over which wouldn’t have gone down well as there would have been tension and conflict and then a full blown civil war between the minority and majority tribes in Nigeria. Worst still, the just concluded presidential elections were obviously hinged on tribal/ ethnic and religious sentiments and not based primarily on issues or ideology.
Nigeria comprises over 250 ethnicities with over 400 dialects. It’s a multilingual and multi religious society. It’s has over 170 million citizens. It is Africa’s most populous country. And the continent’s largest economy. Each of the major ethnic groups are over 15/30 million each. So, they are nations in their regard. It stands to reason then that, that singular phone call by Jonathan entrenched both peace and democratic ideals in Nigeria, West Africa and Africa at large as trends in Nigeria are perceived to have spiral effects on the adjoining regions and the entire continent. In other words, that historic phone call did the most or best work for fraternity among the nations of Nigeria, West Africa and Africa, in the words of the Nobel Peace Prize tradition.
It’s in view of President Goodluck Jonathan’s contributions to peace nationally and continentally that he is been tipped in some quarters to be a recipient of the Mo Ibrahim Peace Prize for the year 2015. While this inclination is commendable I am proposing that Jonathan be made a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding contribution to peace in Africa in contemporary times.
While this proposal may be pooh poohed by some on the grounds of his inability to deal a profound blow to the insurgency in the northeast, namely, Boko Haram, it should be recalled that corruption is endemic in Nigeria, and this ignoble trend did not begin with his administration. Besides, it is in his administration that the Corruption Index of the country appreciated positively according to the rating of international corruption index organizations. Finally, Jonathan’s contributions to peace in Nigeria, courtesy of that 30 March historic phone call, far outweighs his inability to curb the insurgency in the northeast of the country.
It’s on these well founded premises that, I am nominating Goodluck Ebele-Azikiwe Jonathan as a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.