Former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has made a case for strong family values as a means of building peace and fostering development in our communities and nations.
The former President stated this on day two of the African Leadership Conference, taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Speaking on peace and family which was the theme for the day’s programme at a ceremony in Soweto, Jonathan said; “The focus of the day’s programme is quite remarkable and germane to what our world needs today. If we must build our world, a suitable world that we all desire, we should first start with building our families. To build a world that will be peaceful and prosperous, we must pay attention to how we are building the family unit. It begins from building the home through very respectable family values.
He said further: “I agree with what Mr. Gwede Mantashe, the Chairman of African National Congress (ANC) and minister of mines and energy who is representing South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said, to the effect that the World cannot be great except Africa is great. This is because the world cannot afford to leave any of its parts behind, especially an important continent like Africa.
Earlier, the former President who emerged as the chairperson of the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP), a body made up of mainly African former leaders, which was inaugurated at the conference, also made a case for the strengthening of democratic institutions in Africa.
In a keynote speech titled ‘The Need for Good Governance and Peaceful Electioneering Process in Africa’ the former President noted that the credibility and legitimacy of electoral processes depended on the impartiality and independence of electoral management bodies (EMBs).
He therefore urged the African Union to set minimum acceptable standards for appointing key members of EMBs on the continent, as a means of boosting citizen confidence in elections.
He said further: “In many African countries democratic processes remain fragile because of leadership struggles among politicians. Such struggles mainly driven by ego, do not allow for the deepening of democratic values and the conduct of free and fair elections.
“When leaders encourage impunity in the conduct of elections, they push the aggrieved to desperate limits, which fuels crises and conflicts. That is why some African nations are in turmoil today.
“A leader who truly wishes to serve his people will not impose his will on them. Such a leader will not be tempted to manipulate constitutional processes to either repress opposition or extend his tenure.
Although multiparty elections have become more regular in Africa, we still lag behind the rest of the world in making democracy work for the electorate. The main reason for this being the ‘winner-take-all’ approach to democracy in Africa.”
The conference had in attendance, government officials, former African Heads of State, clergy and traditional rulers from across Africa.