Former Nigerian president Dr Goodluck Jonathan has been honoured by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Atlanta with the Presidential Award in recognition of his leadership in advancing human rights social justice and the fight for universal freedom. Dr Jonathan therefore becomes first African leader to be honoured with the award.
The award which is founded by the late American civil rights leader, Dr Martin Luther King, in January 1957, the SCLC is currently led by Dr Charles Steele. As part of the activities leading up to the celebration of Dr Martin Luther King Day on Monday, January 18, 2016, the SCLC decided to honour Dr Jonathan for his role in ensuring there was a peaceful transition of power in Nigeria in last year’s presidential elections.
Dr Jonathan, who was received by Dr Martin Luther King’s sister, Naomi during the event, is the first African leader to be so honoured. His role in relinquishing power and conceding defeat to President Muhammadu Buhari after the last election, marking the first time an incumbent government has been defeated in a Nigerian presidential election, is what earned Dr Jonathan the award.
According to nigerianwatch before the event, Dr Jonathan met privately with Dr Steele, who agreed to work with the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation to advance the cause of peace around the world and to bridge the gap between black people in the diaspora and Africa. Dr Jonathan responded that his vision is to help stabilise and promote democracy and peace in Africa, adding that without peace you cannot have economic progress.