Former President Goodluck Jonathan has also urged Nigerian leaders to value the interests of every section of the country to build a united nation devoid of agitations, disunity, and disenchantment among the citizens.
This is as the Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Rev. Matthew Kukah, said Abdulsalami has given respectability to Nigeria’s electoral process through the National Peace Committee, adding that he deserves Nobel Prize for bringing honour to Nigeria’s electoral process.
Abubakar said this on Saturday at a conference organised in his honour in Abuja.
The former head of state said the continent is still battling “conflicts of diverse kinds,” which he said is one of the greatest challenges of the continent.
“Africa as a continent has not been freed from conflict; indeed conflicts of diverse kinds are still one of the greatest challenges in Africa,” he said.
“Conflicts persist in Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Southern Sudan, Central African Republic, Mali, Mozambique, Libya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, among others.
“Consequently, as African leaders, we must be resolute and have the strong political will to resolve these conflicts and other developmental challenges confronting our continent.
“Therefore sustaining peace should be a continuous work in progress and we must change our approach of using force to maintain peace.
“But rather seeking constructive engagement with diverse stakeholders to broaden our perspectives of the issues in contention.”
He commended the National Peace Committee (NPC) for the roles played in bringing sanity to the country’s polity while appreciating Nigerians for believing in the committee.
Meanwhile, Kukah said Abdulsalami has given respectability to Nigeria’s electoral process through the National Peace Committee, adding that he deserves Nobel Prize for bringing honour to Nigeria’s electoral process.
The bishop, who is also the secretary of the committee, said all stakeholders in the country’s political process agreed that the committee should continue with its mandate after the 2015 elections.
“On behalf of the peace committee, we want to thank General Abdulsalami because he has given respectability to the election and electoral processes,” he said.
“Because we work very closely with INEC and now we are finding ourselves being called from left, right, and centre.
“When the peace committee was set up, the name was peace committee for the 2015 elections.
“The idea was that after the 2015 elections everybody will go home. When we finished we decided to say ‘are we to shake hands and go home?’ We said ‘look, let’s sit down together.’
“Truly, General Abdulsalami was gracious enough when we suggested that why don’t we hear from Nigerians what they think about the work of the peace committee.
“We called the media, we called civil society, we called the BOT of the two parties, we went to see the president, we went to see the speaker, we went to see the senate president and President Goodluck Jonathan.
He also tipped the former head of state for the Nobel Peace Prize, saying it is long overdue for Abdulsalami to clinch the prestigious prize.
“I believe but I don’t know how but I think the next campaign that all of us must now wait for is to work hard because the Nobel Prize for peace is long overdue,” he added.
“As far as we are concerned, General Abdulsalami is a Nobel laureate, all we need to do is for those who took the award to have the decency to stamp their stamp of authority over what we have already agreed on.”Meanwhile, former President Jonathan has urged Nigerian leaders to value the interests of every section of the country to build a united nation devoid of agitations, disunity, and disenchantment among the citizens.
He spoke at Opume, Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, when he led members of the 1981 pioneer set of the University of Port Harcourt Alumni Association on a visit to King Amalate Turner, Obigbo Mikimiki 1, the Obanema (traditional ruler) of Opume Kingdom.
Jonathan said Nigeria is blessed with both human and natural endowments, which could only be enjoyed in a peaceful atmosphere.
He urged leaders to focus more on building a united nation where no one society or tribe should be more valued than the other.
Jonathan stated: “Leaders should focus more on uniting Nigerians. If one society or group of people or tribe is more valued than the other, then there is bound to be disunity and disenchantment from those who feel not being accorded their rightful respect and value.”
The former President, who is an alumnus and a member of the pioneer graduate class of 1981 of UNIPORT said the reunion programme was part of activities of the alumni aimed at fostering bond among old classmates.
He also said the reunion was a platform to deliberate on issues affecting their Alma mater and to give back to the school and society in general.
The first former military governor of old Rivers State and Amayanabo (King) of Twon-Brass in Bayelsa State, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, who spoke during a lecture on Unique UNIPORT ’81 Reunion at Aridolf Hotel in Yenagoa, said the founding of the University of Port Harcourt was not an easy task as a lot of interests worked against it at the initial period.
He, however, praised General Yakubu Gowon (rtd.), former military Head of State for his audacious and courageous actions to make the establishment of UNIPORT a reality.