Two of Nigeria's religious leaders have been short-listed for a Nobel Peace Prize. They are the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Onaiyekan, and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar III.
The Agence France Presse reported on Thursday that the International Peace Research Institute said that Prof. Gene Sharp of the United States, a theorist on non-violent struggle, and the Echo of Moscow radio station were the main contenders for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
The IPRI noted that Onaiyekan and the Sultan may have made the list alongside the former US President Bill Clinton, for their efforts at campaigning against the misuse of religion.
Prof. Chinua Achebe, was once nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature, being one of the awards by the Nobel Foundation.
In 1986, the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Prof. Wole Soyinka, making him the first African to receive the award.
The Head of the IPRI, Kristian Berg Harpviken, had described the Peace award as, “The most talked-about of the Nobel Prize awards, which appears to be a wide open race this year with no clear frontrunner.”
Harpviken, who follows the work of the Peace Prize committee closely, publishes his own list of possible winners every year.
He hinted that a total of 231 nominees have been shortlisted, and although the prize committee never discloses the nominees’ names, Bill Clinton, Helmut Kohl, the EU and WikiLeaks suspect, Bradley Manning, are known to be on the list.
The Nobel Foundation has slashed the prize sum because of the economic crisis to 8.0m Swedish kronor ($1.2m, €930,940) per award, down from the 10m kronor awarded since 2001.
The Peace Prize winner will be announced next Friday, although the Medicine Prize will open the award season on Monday.
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