Former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has urged African leaders to seek to improve the lives of the people they serve, stressing that such a legacy of good works would speak for them after they leave office.
The former President stated this last weekend in Kigali, capital of Rwanda, where he bagged the ‘African Democracy and Peace Icon Award’ at the maiden edition of the African Heritage Concert and Awards.
Dr. Jonathan who advised leaders to prioritise the rights and humanity of the citizens also noted that the welfare of citizens should guide national aspirations and development initiatives on the continent.
Speaking further, Dr. Jonathan emphasized that the duty of leaders is to run their countries properly and efficiently, and “not to dehumanize human beings and make their lives difficult.”
“What people will remember you for is what should guide our decisions, and I believe every leader should begin to think that when he leaves office, one day he will be remembered one way or the other, positively or negatively.”
“Will the world remember you for killing people? Will the world remember you for unnecessarily jailing people, will the world remember you for destroying their systems or will you be remembered for doing good?”, he queried.
Other awardees included former President of Tanzania, late John Magufuli; Vice President of Liberia, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor and former President of Botswana, Seretse Ian Khama.
Dr. Jonathan who thanked the organisers of the event, Heritage Times (HT) for a successful programme, also maintained that such a gesture of appreciation would encourage African leaders to do more towards improving the lives of the people.
He stated further: “I was president of Nigeria for only five years. I believe the little contributions I made within that period and probably after leaving office may have convinced the organisers to honor me today as the Icon of Democracy and Peace in Africa.
This means that it is not actually how long you stay in the office that will make people remember you but how well you served them and the little impact you make.”