Goodluck Jonathan is a Nigerian politician and the 14th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was a one-time deputy governor and governor of Bayelsa State. Also, Goodluck Jonathan served as the Vice President and President of Nigeria. Goodluck Jonathan was the first sitting Nigerian President to concede electoral defeat in the 2015 presidential poll. Today, he is regarded as a hero of democracy.
Goodluck Jonathan Early Life
Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan was born on November 20, 1957 in Otuoke, Bayelsa State. He is from the Ijaw descent born to Lawrence, a Canoe-maker and Eunice, a retired farmer. He attended St. Stephens Primary School, Otuoke and later moved to St. Michaels Primary school, Olobiri for his primary education. He then moved to Master Dei High School, Ogbia for his secondary education.
Next, he attended the University of Port Harcourt where he obtained a B.Sc in Zoology, M.Sc in Hydrobiology and Ph.D in Fisheries Biology. Until 1998, Goodluck was a Science Inspector of Education, a Lecturer and also served as an Environmental Protection Officer.
Goodluck Jonathan Personal Life
Goodluck is married to Dame Patience Jonathan, and they are blessed with two children – Ariwera and Aruabi Jonathan.
Goodluck Jonathan Political Positions
Jonathan has served in different political positions. He started as a deputy governor in 1998, next, governor of Bayelsa State in 2005. He later served as the Vice President and the President of Nigeria from 2007 and 2010 respectively.
Deputy Governor And Governor
Goodluck began his political career in 1998 when he was chosen by Diepreye Alaimeyesiegha as running mate. Diepreye was the gubernatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Bayelsa State. The duo won the election and they were sworn in on May 29, 1999.
Luckily, they were also re-elected in 2004. Jonathan was recognised as the most hardworking deputy governor in Nigeria as a result of his support for Diepreye.
Jonathan continued in his service as the deputy governor until December 12, 2005 when he was sworn in as governor. This was because of the impeachment of Governor Diepreye by the National Assembly for money laundering in United Kingdom.
His journey to being the vice President of the country began in 2007, when he was nominated to be the running mate of Governor Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua. They both contested under the People’s Democratic Party. The duo won the general election, and was inaugurated on May 29, 2007.
This marked the first peaceful transition of power from one democratic leader to another since Nigeria’s independence in 1960. Jonathan became the first civilian from the South-South geopolitical zone to hold such office.
However, the president took ill in office and was taken to Saudi Arabi for treatment. Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as acting president following the prolonged illness of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. He was later sworn in as the 14th Head of State in line with the constitution of the country after the death of Yar’Adua.
Goodluck became President in 2010 and in 2011 he announced his interest to run in the race for the office of presidency. That was the first time he ran for any public office on his own. He always got in on a platter of gold.
On April 18, 2011, he was elected the President of Nigeria along with his running mate Namadi Sambo. He held this position until 2015.
While in office, he created his agenda in line with the vision 2020 of his predecessor.
Goodluck Jonathan launched the power sector reformation on August 2, 2010 with the aim of achieving a stable electricity supply in Nigeria. He oversaw the privatization of the Nigeria’s power sector by breaking the Power Holding Company of Nigeria into 15 firms. He then contracted the service of a Canada-based consulting firm, CPCS Transcom Limited to act as the transaction adviser for the handing over of state electricity assets.
Also, he launched the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YoUWiN) on October 11, 2011. YouWin is a national business plan competition that harnesses the creative energies of young people and help their businesses grow. It is for small business owners whose enterprise can create employment for other youths.
Goodluck created the transformation agenda with a summary of the Federal Government plans on how to deliver projects, programs and key priority policies. With this, he promoted social advancement through gender inclusion and equity.
He also expanded access to education through the establishments of tertiary institution and primary schools. In addition, he worked on agriculture, industrial production and creative industries.
Lastly, he displayed his love for peace and democracy after he lost the 2015 election to Major General Muhammadu Buhari. He called the then president elect and congratulated him. It was first in the history of the country.
Goodluck Jonathan Foundation
Jonathan is the founder and CEO of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation. He believes that peace and harmony is a prerequisite for a nation’s economic growth and poverty reduction. As a lover of peace, he established the foundation in order to raise civic awareness, promote political transition and increase political participation across Africa.
GEJ Foundation is interested in the nation’s sustainable prosperity. So, it supports youth and women enterprises by giving them access to skills acquisition, and training opportunities that enhances their income earning capabilities.
Recently, the foundation organised a one-day conference on peaceful elections, and national development in Abuja on February, 7, 2019.
See Also: How to become the president of Nigeria.
Goodluck Jonathan Awards
- Platinum Award, Glo-Caf Awards, 2013
- Primatial Award, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, 2014.
- Peace Loving Global Citizen Award, Universal Peace Federation (UPF), for accepting the 2015 presidential poll result, 2015.
- President’s Award, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, SCLC, in recognition of his leadership in human rights, social justice and the universal fight for freedom. 2016
- Leadership Person of the Year, Leadership Newspaper Awards, 2016
- Personality of the Year, Vanguard, 2016
- International Person of the Year, The African Sun Times, 2016
- Icon of Democracy Awards, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rivers, 2018
- Grand Award as the Ijaw Man For All Season, Ijaw Republican Assembly, 2018
Goodluck Jonathan Quotes
“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.”
“Any society or country that closes the vital valves of its democratic space cannot develop at a reasonable pace.”
“Nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian.”
“Where there is no opportunity for one man one vote, there will be no accountability and no responsibility.”
“Democracy is a journey that every nation mindful of advancing the liberty of its citizens must undertake.”
“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.”
“It is the supreme task of this generation to give hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak and protection to the defenseless.”
“Somebody must sacrifice and work for the next generation otherwise, your children’s children will suffer the same predicaments as you have.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
Entrepreneurial Lessons From The Life Of Goodluck Jonathan
Failure is not the end. After Jonathan conceded defeat in the election, he has gained both local and international recognition. This has also made him to be more prominent than he was even in the office. A lesson to entrepreneurs; failure is not the end. A successful person is the one that stands up after failing.
Don’t be afraid to climb the ladder from the bottom. Jonathan started as a deputy governor, little did he know he was going to be the president of Nigeria. As entrepreneurs, don’t despise the days of your little beginnings. Stay focused and you will be amazed at how things will turn out in the end.
Be loyal and work hard. One of the hidden qualifications of this icon of democracy is that he is loyal and hard-working. No wonder he was the best deputy governor in Nigeria during his time.
His loyalty was what earned him the recommendations for higher political positions. As aspiring entrepreneurs who have a 9-5, you have to be committed and loyal to what you are doing. The rewards are always worth it in the end.
Photo credit: Doc Research Institute, Yahoo.news, Zimbio, News 24, Public radio international, City1051fm.com, and Kito diaries.