World Tolerance Day: President Buhari, Jonathan to Receive Tolerance Award

By Salihu Ali, Abuja

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The International Association of World Peace Advocates IAWPA has announced Nigerian President Muhammad Buhari and former President Goodluck Jonathan as winners of this year’s Tolerance award.

A press statement by spokesperson of the Association in Abuja, Dr. Emmanuel Nkweke said the Nigerian president would be the first African sitting President to win the Tolerance award which is aimed at promoting global peace especially in Africa which has suffered ethnic, political and religious tensions.
Dr. Nkweke said, the Nigerian president has become a role model for political tolerance hence the decision of the association to honour him.
His cordial relationship with the former president though from a different political party is legendary and worthy of emulation. Unlike some presidents that engage in witch hunting of political enemies, President Buhari has treated the opposition with respect and his recent decision to honour Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State who is a vociferous critic of his administration in the area of infrastructure has shown that he is a pragmatic leader who has refused to allow sentiments becloud his sense of judgment”. 
The statement also commended the president for granting amnesty to former Governors Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame who are members of the opposition.
“Most people thought Buhari would lay a sledge hammer on the opposition. You can feel it in the freedom with which Nigerians have expressed themselves politically. This increased political participation in the country.
He said Nigeria ranks as one of the countries that has high political awareness and freedom of expression.
“The president really has to be commended for this even as we believe that more can be done,” he stated.
On former president Jonathan, the association said “It is on record that he conducted one of the best elections in the country. He was even quoted as saying that no blood deserves to be spilled for his reelection a statement that helped douse tension leading to a peaceful handover to the opposition political party. The first time in history.”
The statement called on all Nigeria politicians, religious and ethnic leaders to imbibe such spirit.
The award on the duo will be conferred at an event to celebrate the United Nations Tolerance Day on Wednesday 16 of November at Merit House, Abuja.
Spirit Of Tolerance
Other well meaning individuals and corporate bodies that have promoted the spirit of tolerance in the society will also, be recognised that day.
It will also witness the launch of the Tolerance Dashboard that will monitor the level of tolerance expected against the forthcoming general elections and the unveiling of some youths that will act as Tolerance Champions.

He said those youths would work with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in the area of observing the level of tolerance displayed by parties before, during and after the elections.

Lateefah Ibrahim
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