Former President Goodluck Jonathan has failed to win the 2016 edition of the Mo Ibrahim Prize For Achievement in African Leadership. Apart from the former Nigerian leader, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation (MIF) says that no other former African Head of State is qualified to receive the prize this year.
Africanews, quoting the Prize Committee chairman, reports that this is the second year running that the $5m cash Prize has not been awarded due to the continent’s former leaders not meeting the high standards and criteria that it holds.
“As I emphasise each year, a very high bar was deliberately set when the Prize was launched in 2006. We recognise and applaud the important contributions that many African leaders have made to change their countries for the better.
“But the Prize is intended to highlight and celebrate truly exceptional leadership, which is uncommon by its very definition. After careful consideration, the Committee has decided not to award the Prize in 2016.”
Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, the Prize Committee chairman said.
Just as there is no winner for 2016, there were no winners for four previous years – 2009, 2010, 2012 2013 and 2015.
The candidates for the Mo Ibrahim Prize are chosen based on the following criteria:
Former African executive head of state or government
Left office in the last three calendar years (2014-2016).
Served his/her constitutionally mandated term
Demonstrated exceptional leadership.
Goodluck Jonathan left the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in May 2015 after suffering a historic defeat in the hands of current President Muhammadu Buhari. Despite his electoral misfortune, he has conspicuously been equated with exemplary leadership mostly as a result of the peaceful transition of power that marked the end of his tenure, with commentators consequently describing him as a man of peace and one of the continent’s finest democrats.