The president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Prof. John Palfrey, has received a chieftaincy title in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.
Garki Traditional Council in Abuja conferred the title of ‘Byefeche Nugba’ on the MacArthur Foundation president; this means ‘Hero of Justice for Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Original Inhabitants’. Prof. Palfrey made history as the first foreigner to be honoured with the title.
During the ceremony on Sunday in the palace of Sa’Peyi of Garki, Alhaji Usman Nga Kupi, the council appreciated the MacArthur Foundation for their development work in the FCT which has helped build the capacity of the indigenes on their cultural, social, economic, and political rights.
MacArthur Foundation works in the country by supporting Nigerian-led efforts to reduce corruption, promote good governance, and advance gender equity and social inclusion in the six geopolitical zones.
The Foundation’s grantees in the country include Wadata Media and Advocacy Centre (WAMAC) and the Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED).
“As a traditional institution, we can affirm that these efforts have touched our lives as Original Inhabitants in several respects.”, the Traditional Council said in an address of welcome delivered by Secretary of the Garki Kingdom, Lazarus Nyaholo.
Prof. Palfrey, on his part acknowledged the traditional institution for its importance in nation-building
“We at MacArthur Foundation, honour and respect the important role played by traditional institutions in Nigeria and around the world, in maintaining law and order, settling disputes, encouraging education, and encouraging healthy behaviours.
“We see you as the foundation of society that survives, in every transition of government in Nigeria and around the world.
“MacArthur Foundation is a global foundation, and whether we are at home in the United States of America in Chicago, or Abuja, we acknowledge and honour indigenous communities.”
Prof. Palfrey, the Abuja Hero of Justice title recipient said as he accepted the honour on behalf of the MacArthur Foundation team in Abuja.