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Goodluck Jonathan

President of Nigeria

Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan (born 20 November 1957)[1] was the President of Nigeria (5 May 2010 - 29 May 2015). He was Governor of Bayelsa State from 9 December 2005 to 28 May 2007, and became the in as Vice President of Nigeria on 29 May 2007. Jonathan is a member of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), which is in power as of September 2010. On 13 January 2010, a federal court gave him the power to carry out state affairs while President Umaru Yar'Adua was being taken care of in a hospital in Saudi Arabia. On 24 February 2010, Yar'Adua came back to Nigeria, but Jonathan kept the President's power .[2] Yar'Adua died on 5 May 2010, and Jonathan officially became the President. He took the oath of office the next day.

Goodluck Jonathan
Goodluck Jonathan World Economic Forum 2013.jpg
President of Nigeria (Outgoing)
In office
6 May 2010 – 29 May 2015
Vice PresidentNamadi Sambo
Preceded byUmaru Yar'Adua
Succeeded byMuhammadu Buhari (Elect)
Vice President of Nigeria
In office
29 May 2007 – 6 May 2010
PresidentUmaru Yar'Adua
Preceded byAtiku Abubakar
Succeeded byNamadi Sambo
Governor of Bayelsa
In office
9 December 2005 – 29 May 2007
Preceded byDiepreye Alamieyeseigha
Succeeded byTimipre Sylva
Personal details
Born
Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan

(1957-11-20) 20 November 1957 (age 61)
Ogbia, Nigeria
Political partyPeople's Democratic Party
Spouse(s)Patience Faka
Alma materUniversity of Port Harcourt

Jonathan's term as President of Nigeria ended on 29 May 2015, when he handed over to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Early life, education and personal lifeEdit

Jonathan was born in Otueke in Ogbia Local Government Area in Nigeria to a family of canoe makers.[1][3] He has a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Zoology. He also holds an M.Sc. in Hydrobiology/Fisheries biology, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Zoology from the University of Port Harcourt. After he got his degree, he worked as an education inspector, lecturer, and environmental-protection officer, until he decided to become a politician in 1998.[4]

Jonathan is married to Patience Faka Jonathan and has two children.[5] Jonathan is a member of the Ijaw ethnic group.[6]

Early political careerEdit

Bayelsa State governorshipEdit

Jonathan began his career in politics in 1998, having joined the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in 1998.[3] Jonathan, who had been the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, succeeded Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who was impeached by the Bayelsa State Assembly after being charged with money laundering in the United Kingdom. In September 2006, Jonathan's wife was indicted by the nation's anti-crime agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for crimes related to money laundering.[7]

Presidential raceEdit

In December 2006, Jonathan was chosen as running mate to Umaru Yar'Adua for the PDP presidential ticket in the April 2007 election.[8] On 20 April 2007, shortly before the presidential election, there was a violent attack from militants. The police said that people had tried to kill Jonathan. However, this did not end up happening.[9]

Vice PresidencyEdit

Following the PDP's election win, which some people did not think was fair, militants blew up Jonathan's country house in Otu-Eke, Bayelsa State on 16 May; two policemen were killed in the attack. Jonathan was not there at the time.[10]

Acting PresidentEdit

President Umaru Yar'Adua left Nigeria on 23 November 2009 for medical treatment. He did not make plans for anyone to take over his duties. On 13 January 2010, a federal court handed Vice-President Jonathan the power to carry out state affairs in the president's continued absence. On 22 January 2010, the Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had 14 days to decide whether President Yar'Adua "is incapable of discharging the functions of his office". In a nationwide address in February 2010, Jonathan called on all Nigerians to set aside religious and ethnic differences to work together for the common good. Jonathan said "The events of the recent past have put to a test our collective resolve as a democratic nation," "I am delighted to know that our nation has demonstrated resilience and unity of purpose.[3]

On 9 February 2010, the Senate decided that presidential power should be given to the Vice President. He was appointed to serve as Acting President, with all the accompanying powers, until when and if Yar'Adua returned to full health. The power transfer was called a "coup without the word" by opposition lawyers and lawmakers.[11] The Nigerian Constitution requires a written letter from the President stating he is unable to serve or that the cabinet sends a medical team to examine him but this provision has not apparently been fulfilled leaving some doubts as to the constitutionality of the action.[12]

PresidencyEdit

Yar'Adua died on 5 May 2010. Jonathan was sworn in as Yar'Adua's replacement on 6 May 2010,[13] becoming Nigeria's 14th Head of State. He will serve as President until the next election. Upon taking office, Jonathan cited anti-corruption, power and electoral reform were what he wanted to focus on as President.[14] He stated that he came to office under "very sad and unusual circumstances."[15]

On 18 May 2010, the National Assembly approved President Goodluck Jonathan's nomination of former Kaduna State governor, Namadi Sambo, an architect, for the position of Vice President.[16][17]

World Cup controversyEdit

After the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, in which the Nigerian side failed to advance beyond group stage, Jonathan said that the national team could no longer play international matches. FIFA objected to the president's decision and threatened to kick Nigeria out of the association. After this, Jonathan ended the ban.[18]

Re-electionEdit

Jonathan was re-elected in April 2011 in an election that some experts said may have been the most fair election in Nigerian history.[19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Lawson Heyford, "Jonathan: A Colossus at 49", The Source (Lagos), 11 December 2006
  2. "Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan 'is acting president'". BBC News. BBC. February 25, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Profile: Goodluck Jonathan". www.aljazeera.com.
  4. "Profile: Goodluck Jonathan". BBC News. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  5. "Money Laundering: I'm Not Involved, Says Bayelsa Governor". Thisday, via EFCCNigeria.org. Leaders & Company. 2006-09-12. Retrieved 2007-09-22.
  6. "Profile: Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria's unlikely leader". BBC. February 22, 2010. Retrieved February 22, 2010.
  7. By Gilbert da Costa / Abuja Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010 (2010-02-13). "Is Goodluck Jonathan the Answer to Nigeria's Woes?". TIME. Retrieved 2010-07-05.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. Tom Ashby, "Reclusive Yar'Adua wins ruling party ticket", Reuters (IOL), 17 December 2006.
  9. "Attacks seek to derail Nigeria poll", Al Jazeera, 21 April 2007.
  10. "Militants attack Nigerian VP's home", AFP (IOL), 16 May 2007.
  11. Nigeria's VP takes over from ailing president, AFP, Ola Awoniyi, February 10, 2010
  12. Nigeria's new president Good luck, Jonathan, The Economist, Feb 11th 2010
  13. News Agency of Nigeria http://www.nanngronline.com/News/Pages/Jonathan,nowPresident,Commander-In-Chief.aspx
  14. Adigun, Bashir (6 May 2010). "Goodluck Jonathan sworn in as Nigerian president". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 9 May 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  15. "Nigeria swears in new president". Al-Jazeera. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
  16. Punch Newspaper "NASS confirms Sambo as vice president" http://www.punchontheweb.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art201005185541038
  17. Liberty News "National Assembly confirms Sambo as Vice President" http://www.myondostate.com/myondostate/newssend.php?id=203
  18. http://www.worldfootballinsider.com/Story.aspx?id=33505
  19. Nossiter, Adam (18 April 2011). "Nigeria's President Wins Re-Election" – via NYTimes.com.