Who is Goodluck Ebele Jonathan?

Goodluck Jonathan is a Nigerian politician and Zoologist. He is the 14th president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He also served in Bayelsa state as a deputy governor and governor of the oil-rich state (2005-2007). Goodluck Jonathan also served as vice president and President of Nigeria in 2007 and 2010, respectively.

Goodluck Jonathan’s Early life

Goodluck Jonathan was born on November 20, 1957, in Otuoke, Bayelsa state. His father, Lawrence, is a Canoe-maker and his mother Eunice is a retired farmer, both of them an indigene of Ijaw in Bayelsa state.

He received his primary education from St Stephens Primary School, Outuoke and St Michaels Primary School, Olobiri. After which, he attended Master Dei High School Ogbia for his secondary school education.

 In 1981, he got a degree in Zoology (B.Sc), in hydrobiology and fisheries biology in 1985, and a Ph.D. in Zoology in 1995. All from the University of Portharcourt.

Between 1983 and 1993, he was a lecturer at Rivers State College of Education during his university education. And from 1993 to 1998, he was the assistant director at the now-defunct oil mineral producing areas development commission. 

Goodluck Jonathan Political Career

In 1998, Goodluck started his political career when Diepreye Alaimeyesiegha chose him as a running mate for the 1999 gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa State. As candidates of the People’s Democratic Party, they won the elections and were sworn in on May 29, 1999.

In 2004, The duo contested for reelection and still won the elections. During his term as a deputy governor, Goodluck was a diligent and hardworking deputy governor because of his actions and support for Governor Diepreye.

On December 12, 2005, Governor Diepreye was caught in a crime of money laundering in the United Kingdom and was removed from office by the national assembly. Jonathan then became the governor in his place.

In 2007, he was nominated by the PDP members as running mate of Umaru Musa Yar’adua (when Yar’adua was the governor of Katsina state) for the 2007 presidential elections. The election result saw them as the winner, and they were sworn in on May 29, 2007.

The inauguration ceremony was the first of its kind in Nigeria’s history because it marked the peaceful transition of power from a civilian president to another civilian president. This also made Jonathan the first civilian from the south-south geopolitical region to attain such a high position.

Jonathan was not popular among Nigerians at the time, which is a norm among vice presidents. But he made efforts to negotiate with the Niger Delta militants at war with petroleum companies around the delta region.

He gained publicity when President Yar’adua was absent from the country and his office due to health issues. Nigerians became worried about the President’s vacant seat and agitated for the transfer of power to Jonathan.

On February 9, 2010, the National assembly voted in Jonathan as the acting President of Nigeria. He was given complete control over the presidential affairs until Yar’adua was able to resume his duties.

Unfortunately, President Yar’adua never fully recovered from the illness and died on May 5, 2010. And according to the constitution of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as the President on May 6, 2010. 

Goodluck Jonathan, as President of Nigeria

Jonathan promised to carry on with the Niger Delta peace negotiations and pledged to reform the corrupt electoral process in the country, fight corruption, and fix the Nation’s energy problems.

In 2010, Jonathan declared his intention to contest for the 2011 presidential elections. The people’s democratic party members also supported him as they voted him as their presidential candidate.

The presidential election was held on April 16, 2011, and Jonathan emerged as the winner with 59% of the votes. International observers commended the election as transparent, free, and fair, highlighting Jonathan’s goal of reforming the electoral process.

In 2015, Jonathan contested again for the presidential elections. His strongest opponent was Muhammadu Buhari who was contesting for the third time in a row without success. The election was held on March 28, 2015, and Goodluck lost to Buhari. Jonathan accepted defeat and even called to congratulate him.

Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential Achievements

Nigeria experienced overall economic growth during Jonathan’s administration. Her GDP (Gross Domestic Product) overtook that of Egypt and South Africa and became the largest economy in Africa.

In the area of infrastructure, there were constructions of transportation channels across the country, especially railways and roads. These include the construction of the Abuja-Kaduna railway and Lagos-Ibadan railway, which came with high-speed rail projects. 

Several federal roads were also constructed and beautified, including the Abuja-Lokoja expressway, Onitsha-Owerri highway, Enugu-Abakiliki expressway, and Lagos-Benin expressway. Also, construction of the second Niger Bridge and the construction and renovation of airports across the country.

In August 2010, Jonathan launched the power sector reformation to solve the problems of electricity in Nigeria. This reformation ensured the privatization of Nigeria’s power sector. He achieved it by handing over control of state electricity assets to private owners by breaking the power holding company of Nigeria into 15 firms.

One of his notable projects was the initiation of the Youth Enterprise With innovation in Nigeria (YOUWiN). This project aims to support the youth, create more jobs, and help businesses grow. 

Goodluck Jonathan’s family, personal life, and Networth.

Jonathan got married to Patience Jonathan, and they have two children named Ariwewa Adolphus Jonathan and Aruabi Jonathan. He declared his assets in 2007, and they’re worth $8,569,662.

Goodluck Jonathan Quotes

“Somebody must sacrifice and work for the next generation otherwise, your children’s children will suffer the same predicaments as you have.”

“The stronger the boat (of democracy), the more it is able to meet the challenges of its voyage and deliver on its promise to citizens.”

“Somebody must sacrifice and work for the next generation otherwise, your children’s children will suffer the same predicaments as you have.”

“Any society or country that closes the vital valves of its democratic space cannot develop at a reasonable pace.”

“We must develop a democratic culture in which the will of the people will be treated as sacred and be immune to subversion by anti-democratic elements.”

“Nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian.”

“It is the supreme task of this generation to give hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak, and protection to the defenseless.”

“Where there is no opportunity for one man one vote, there will be no accountability and responsibility.”

“Somebody must sacrifice and work for the next generation otherwise, your children’s children will suffer the same predicaments as you have.”

“The beauty of democracy is that its practice is never final and always has room for improvement no matter how old a democratic society may be.”

“No matter your political interest, you must place your country first. You must show some kind of patriotism.

“The most important thing is the nation that belongs to all of us.”

“As we strive to advance our democratic development, there will be times when our will shall be tested, our patience provoked and our belief questioned.”

“Life is a journey, in it are many roads, intersections, and stops.”

“Where we falter, we must not fail. When we are weak, we must not surrender”

Books authored by Goodluck Jonathan.

Before it is too late….and the reactions that follow (co-authored by Olusegun Obasanjo)-2014

Stewardship: “A new Nigeria is possible with Goodluck Ebele Jonathan” (co-authored by Humphrey Onyima and Iloefe Ugochukwu James)-2014

History Beckons: A Collection of Speeches- 2015

The World is Our Stage: A Collection of Speeches Made at International Fora-2015

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