Former President Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has been embellished with the award of the African Bar Medal of Merit by the African Bar Association (AFBA) on the ongoing 2021 AFBA Annual Conference in Niamey, Republic of Niger.
Dr Jonathan obtained the award on Monday alongside three different former presidents on the opening ceremony of the convention the place he additionally introduced a paper on accountable governance as a panacea for never-ending conflicts in Africa and the place of the authorized career. The different awardees included former President of Niger Mohammadou Issoufou, former President of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
In presenting the award, AFBA President Barrister Hannibal Uwaifo described them as Africa’s good governance ambassadors and thanked Jonathan for his efforts in selling peace and democracy on the continent.
Dr. Jonathan who spoke on behalf of different awardees expressed his delight and described the popularity as an inspiration to do extra to advertise peace and people-oriented governance in Africa.
He stated: “It is a delight to me, my family and friends, that such an esteemed continental body has also elected to honour me, alongside other prominent African leaders, with the award of the African Bar Medal of Merit.
“I am grateful to the leadership of the African Bar Association (AFBA), led by Barrister Hannibal Uwaifo, for their recognition of my modest contributions to the advancement of democracy and good governance in Africa.”
In his paper entitled ‘Accountable Governance as Panacea for the Unending Conflicts in Africa: The Legal Profession as the Driver’, Jonathan urged authorized professionals to rededicate themselves to the duty of defending the rule of legislation of their dedication to fairness, peace and progress in Africa.
According to him: “The rule of law is more potent in preserving societies than the rule of man. A functional legal system should therefore serve as a hope enabler and catalyst for peace, societal order, growth and development.”
“African lawyers both at the bar and the bench, therefore have a great role to play in advocating for the rule of law in our nations. In fact, the role of the state attorneys is critical, if Africa will witness reduced conflicts. I urge lawyers and judicial officers not to compromise their integrity in the process of upholding the rule of law and resolving disputes either in the courts or via the various alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms.”
He stated additional: “We are in challenging times for which I will say that the world, particularly our continent, needs accountable governance now, than ever before. Africa is often described as a theatre of conflicts. Decades of socio-economic and political conflicts have persistently constrained accountable governance.
Although I am addressing members of the Bar, my focus is on the legal profession as a whole, because except the bar and bench work in concert the legal issues on the continent cannot be successfully resolved. The hands of all members of the legal profession must be on deck to bring about good governance, peace and sustainable development in our countries. “
In establishing a correlation between functional governance and security, the former President noted that “lack of accountability leads to conflicts and insecurity while accountable governance almost always leads to peace, stability and development.”
He averred that one of the vital functions of legislation in society is to protect the ethical sanctity that binds the individuals, describing the legislation because the upholder and supplier of order.
The former President additionally made a case totally free, honest and credible elections and urged authorized professionals to lend their weight in the direction of deepening democracy in Africa.
Vanguard News Nigeria