In order for their legacy of good deeds to speak for them after they leave office, former president Goodluck Jonathan has encouraged African leaders to work to better the lives of the people they serve.
The former president made this statement while accepting the inaugural African Heritage Concert and Awards’ “African Democracy and Peace Icon Award” in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital.
The welfare of citizens should direct national goals and development initiatives on the continent, noted Jonathan, who counseled leaders to prioritize the rights and humanity of the people.
He emphasized that leaders have a responsibility to govern their nations effectively and morally, and “not to dehumanize human beings and make their lives difficult.”
As he put it, “What people will remember you for should guide our choices, and I believe every leader should start to consider that when he leaves office, one day he will be remembered either way, favorably or unfavorably.
Will you be remembered for your crimes against humanity? Will the world recall you for imprisoning people unnecessarily, for destroying their systems, or for doing good?,” he questioned.
Jonathan expressed gratitude to the event’s planners, Heritage Times (HT), for a well-run program and added that such a show of support would inspire African leaders to do more to enhance the quality of life for the populace.
I only served as Nigeria’s president for five years, he claimed. I think the organizers decided to honor me today as the Icon of Democracy and Peace in Africa because of the small contributions I made during that time and presumably after leaving office. This indicates that the real issue is not how long you remain in the position at work that will help people recall you, not for how well you helped them, but for the little difference you make.
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