President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who was declared the winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in Oslo, Norway.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, President Buhari said the award portends a good sign for the peace processes within countries, and across borders on the African continent.
President Buhari felicitated with Abiy, his cabinet and all Ethiopians on the remarkable global recognition of winning the 100th peace prize, which was attributed to a decision to end 20-year conflict between two African countries, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Buhari reiterated his belief that African development is strongly tied to peaceful co-existence, and deliberate efforts by governments and people to sustain harmony within and between countries, urging more concerted and collective partnership on peace in the continent.
President Buhari hoped the global recognition will spur more interest on issues of peace in Africa, and drive home the immeasurable benefits.
The first African recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize was South Afica’s Albert Luthuli in 1960, for his role in the non-violent struggle against apartheid. He was then the President of the African National Congress.
In 1978, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat shared the prize with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin for their efforts to reach a peace agreement between their two countries.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu got the prize in 1984 for his anti-apartheid work. In 1993, African icon Nelson Mandela shared the prize with F.W. de Klerk.
In 2001, former UN Secretary-general was honoured with the award. In 2004, Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathari was also given the award.
In 2011, former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf jointly won the prize with compatriot Leyman Gbowei, a peace activist, who led an all-women nonviolent peace movement, Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace that helped bring an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003.
Medical doctor Dennis Mukwege of Congo Democratic Republic shared the award with Iraqi Yazidi human rights activist Nadia Murad. Mukwege is a Congolese gyneacologist and Pentecostal pastor, who founded and works in Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, where he specializes in the treatment of women who have been raped by armed rebels.