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Thousands want Raila named for Nobel Prize

By Standard Digital Team | July 24th 2018 at 09:56:49 GMT +0300

Opposition leader Raila Odinga at a past function.

Thousands of social media users are lobbying to have Opposition leader Raila Odinga nominated for the coveted Nobel Peace prize.

The Standard has established that a link- change.org - has been sent to several users in networks across the globe to nominate the ODM leader.

Those behind the campaign say Raila deserves the awarded for his peace initiatives in South Sudan and Kenya.

They say Raila has upheld the rule of law and defended human rights.

Each year, members of academies, professors, scientists and previous winners submit candidates for the prize.

Adan Ali, one of the proponents of the UK-based change.org, heaped praise on Raila, saying he deserved the award. He said Raila had changed the lives of millions of Kenyans by sacrificing his freedom in exchange for transformation from totalitarianism.

Mr Ali said Kenya transformed from dictatorship to a multi-party democracy because of Raila's efforts.

"Kenyans could still be in the dark without his sacrifices. Raila has also brokered peace, not only in Kenya but the African continent as a whole," he posted on the web.

Supporters of Raila have posted the link on several social media platforms in Parliament and county assemblies. University students are also sharing the links.

By 11 am yesterday (Monday), at least 1,737 people had signed the petition against a target of 2,500. The website has 1.5 million followers on Facebook.

The Nobel Prize Award:

Swedish arms manufacturer Alfred Nobel signed the famous will in November 1895 stipulating that most of his estate, more than SEK 31 million (Sh351m) (today approximately Sh19.4 billion) should be converted into a fund and invested in "safe securities."

The income from the investments was to be "distributed annually in the form of prizes to those who during the preceding year had conferred the greatest benefit to mankind."

The Nobel Prize amount for 2017 was set at Swedish kronor (SEK) 9.0 million (Sh102m) per full Nobel Prize.

Africans awarded the Nobel Peace Prize:

1. 1960 - South Africa's Albert Lutuli, President of the African National Congress. He won the prize at a time when he was being persecuted by the Apartheid South African State.

2. 1978 - Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat (assassinated in1981) shared it with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin for their efforts to bring about peace between their countries.

3. 1984 - South Africa's Desmond Tutu, received the award not only as a gesture of support to him and to the South African Council of Churches of which he was a leader, but also to all individuals and groups in South Africa who, with their concern for human dignity, fraternity and democracy, incite the admiration of the world.

4. 1993 - South Africa's anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, who became the country's first democratically-elected president, and apartheid President FW de Klerk. They were awarded for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa.

5. 2001 - Ghana's Kofi Annan, UN secretary general, shared with the United Nations; For their work for a better organised and more peaceful world.

6. 2004 - Kenya's Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and founder of the Green Belt Movement. Maathai was Africa's first female peace laureate and she was recognised for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.

7. 2005 - Egypt's Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the UN's nuclear watchdog, shared with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); awarded for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way.

8. 2011 - Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and peace activist Leymah Gbowee, shared with Tawakkol Karman from Yemen: For their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work.

9. 2015 - Tunisia's National Dialogue Quartet, a group of four organisations: the Tunisian General Labour Union, the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, the Tunisian Human Rights League, and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers: For its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.

Mercy Asamba, Sara Okuoro, and Kepher Otieno

(Additional reports from BBC)

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