Peace and Security

Nigerian Former President Honored as Peace-Loving Global Citizen

Nigeria-2015-05-27-Nigerian Ex-President Honored as Peace-Loving Global Citizen

Abuja, Nigeria—UPF has awarded the outgoing Nigerian president a Peace-Loving Global Citizen certificate in recognition of his conduct during the recent Nigerian election.

A delegation of UPF leaders and Nigerian Ambassadors for Peace presented Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR (Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic), with the certificate during a visit to the Presidential Villa in the capital, Abuja, on May 26, 2015.

The award ceremony was part of a program of activities conducted by Nigerian Ambassadors for Peace to celebrate the peaceful conduct of the March general election and the peaceful transition of governments between opposing parties.

The Peace-Loving Global Citizen recognition was awarded to Dr. Jonathan to build on the legacy of UPF Founder Dr. Sun Myung Moon, who stated in his autobiography, As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen: “Our thinking must be that all people are our brothers and sisters. We must think of all the world’s problems as our own, and have a pioneering spirit needed to resolve them. When we widen our perspective and live as global citizens, our boundary will encompass the world.”

The delegation of more than 100 Ambassadors for Peace was led by Chief Barrister Mike Ozekhome, SAN (Senior Advocate of Nigeria), OFR (Order of the Federal Republic), a human rights activist and Ambassador for Peace, and Minister of Interior Comrade Abba Moro. The delegation also included Senator Aloysius Etok of the National Assembly, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim Gashash, His Royal Highness Dr. Shaban Audu Nizazo III, Etsu of Kwali, several Christian bishops and pastors, retired civil servants, traditional rulers, women leaders, as well as the Nigerian leaders of UPF and its sister organization Family Federation for Peace and Unification. Mrs. Kathy Rigney, the regional chair of UPF-Africa, was represented at the event by Mrs. Evelyn Winter.

During the visit in the president's meeting room, Dr. Jonathan was commended for his peaceful conduct as a previous recipient of the Ambassador for Peace certificate and the UPF Leadership and Good Governance Award. Chief Ozekhome, speaking on behalf of the Ambassadors for Peace, presented the Peace-Loving Global Citizen certificate to the president. In addition, Mrs. Evelyn Winter, representing the UPF-Africa regional chair, presented Dr. Jonathan with a letter nominating him as Nigerian representative to the UPF Global Peace Council as well as an invitation to attend the next World Summit, which will be held in Korea in August 2015.

The highly elated president thanked the Ambassadors for Peace for their timely visit and emphasized the reason for conceding defeat to his opponent at the election. He mentioned that he has been guided by the principle of living for the sake of others and never wanted any citizen's life to be lost for the sake of his aspiration. He accepted the fact that he would hand over power to the winning candidate for the sake of national peace and unity.

The outgoing president pledged his commitment to working with UPF to realize a peaceful world. As a recipient of the Peace-Loving Global Citizen recognition, Dr. Jonathan promised to work for peace and build on the legacy of the UPF founder. By this recognition and appointment, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is expected to take responsibility for championing the cause of national peace and unity as well as work with other leaders in the continent and around the world.

Prior to visiting the president, UPF-Nigeria had organized a special program to celebrate the peaceful elections and transition from one civil government to another, and in particular from a government in power to an opposition party. Ambassadors for Peace from across Nigeria gathered in Abuja and commended the outgoing government as well as congratulated the incoming government and explored strategies of engaging the incoming government to make a commitment to the Peace Vision 2020. The Nigerian Ambassadors for Peace commended the UPF Founders Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon for their inspiring vision for world peace, and they pledged their commitment to working with UPF at all levels to make the vision of peace a reality.

The celebration began with a two-hour seminar in which the Ambassadors for Peace were briefed on the activities of UPF in Nigeria, Africa and internationally. It provided an opportunity for them to reflect on the involvement of UPF-Nigeria in the general elections that ended peacefully as well as discussions on ideas for the rest of the year. Held at Bayelsa State Guest House in the Maitama District of Abuja, the seminar also was used to induct new Ambassadors for Peace.

The visit of the UPF delegation to President Jonathan was reported by several national radio and television stations in Nigeria.

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