Ex-president Jonathan also defeated the founder, ECONET Wireless, Strive Masiyiwa; the Chairman, Heirs Holding, Tony Elumulelu and the President, African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina.
This was disclosed by former Pro Tempore President of the Liberian Senate and Chairman of the 2015 African Leadership Person of the Year selection committee, Cletus Wortoson, In a letter to ex-President Jonathan, Wortoson said:
“There is no one best suited at the moment than your excellency, to advise the continent’s leaders on the merits of good governance and enduring democracy.
“Your popular mantra of ‘one man one vote’ and ‘my ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian,’ is a message that must be preached loud and clear on the continent, hence our endorsement.
“It is with great pleasure that I bring you the news of your selection as the African Leadership Magazine Person of the Year, 2015.”
The committee applauded Jonathan for his “uncommon characteristics” in deepening democracy in Africa, adding that “In adopting you as our choice, we placed a very high premium on your commitment towards deepening democracy on the continent – a characteristic which is uncommon among most African leaders at the highest level today.
“Chief among the many factors we considered was your efforts towards promoting good governance in Africa through the promotion of free and fair elections across the continent.
“Your recent assignment to Tanzania received accolades and international acclaim, because you discharged the responsibility most creditably.
“We resolved that there is no one best suited at the moment than Your Excellency, to advise the continent’s leaders on the merits of good governance and enduring democracy.
“The board is fully persuaded that you have served your country, Nigeria, meritoriously, conducted a free and fair election, in which you lost and yet conceded defeat, a development seeing by many in the continent as historical.
“Your popular mantra of ‘one man one vote’ and ‘my ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian,’ is a message that must be preached loud and clear on the continent, hence our endorsement.”
Recall that the award has been previously won by Liberian President and Nobel prize winner, Johnson Sirleaf; former Ghanaian President, John Kuffour; Founder of Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Dr. Mo Ibrahim; Chairman, Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko and lawn tennis goddess, Serena Williams.
Recall also, that ex-President Jonathan also became the first African leader to win the Martin Luther King human rights award.