– Dr Goodluck Jonathan is to be keynote speaker at the 2016 US Nigerian Lawyers Association (NLA) merit awards

– The ex-president will give the speech at the event which is scheduled to hold in New York

– Tickets for the event are to be sold at a $100 for members and $130 for non-members

Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) has been selected to give the keynote speech of the United States Nigerian Lawyers Association (NLA) Merit Awards Dinner.

Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is to be the keynote speaker at the US Nigerian Lawyers Association (NLA) merit award in New York. Following an announcement by Nexus U Sea, president of the association, GEJ is to give the speech at the event which has been scheduled for October 29 in New York. The president of the association said tickets for the event at on sale on the NLA website. “Early Bird tickets are $100 for NLA Members and $130 for Non-Members.  We recommend that you purchase your tickets before Standard Rates apply.  The Early Bird period will expire on August 31, 2016 at 11:59PM.  Standard Rates are $130 for NLA Members and $160 for Non-Members.  The ticket price for everyone at the Door will be $180,” Nexus Sea noted. According to the NLA, the venue of the event is the 630 Second Ballroom, at 630 Second Avenue.

Mr Sea said the keynote speaker will be joining a long list of Nigerian dignitaries who have attended the event in the past. He named such celebrities as including: “Professor Wole Soyinka, a 1986 Noble Laureate in Literature, and world-renowned writer, poet and playwright; Professor Chinua Achebe, world-renowned writer and author of the award-winning novel (Things Fall Apart); and Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former World Bank Managing Director and former Nigerian Minister of Finance.”

According to the NLA website, the annual Merit Awards Dinner are held “to celebrate the achievements of distinguished individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the legal profession and towards the advancement of public and community service, and to give out scholarships to law students of color from across the country, based on need and merit.” It was not immediately clear what President Jonathan will focus on in his address.  Since losing the presidency last year, he has spent a lot of time abroad speaking to audiences about the success of his administration in tackling corruption and boosting democracy.

In the next few weeks, he is scheduled to launch his foundation, the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, which he announced last year in a letter to former President Olusegun Obasanjo. In the letter, he said he was back to work following the taking of power by President Muhammadu Buhari, “to continue to serve and dedicate my life to promoting peace and prosperity for all,” and that he would be “devoting the rest of my life and energy to making the world a better place.”

Dr Jonathan recently canceled his speech at the Africa Peace Awards Dinner at the California State University in Sacramento due to health problems. The information was provided by Jonathan’s special assistant on new media, Reno Omokri, who represented the ex-president during the ceremony. The news was confirmed by Ernest Uwazie, director of the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution, who added that Jonathan is hospitalized as of the time.

However, Sahara Reporters claimed that the former leader was malingering to avoid protests organised by the LGBT community against the event and Jonathan in particular. Commenting on the situation, Mr Uwazie said: “He (Reno Omokri) will be available to meet with anybody like the LGBT group that has expressed interest in meeting with him, before the awards dinner. We’re also looking at the possibility of some Facetime technology with Goodluck Jonathan at the hospital where he is.”