Portrait painting of Nigerian President and Wife.
Medium: Oil on Canvas.
Size: 3ft by 6ft (life Size)
Artist: Ayeola Ayodeji
Early and personal life
Jonathan was born in what is now Bayelsa State to a family of canoe makers. Jonathan holds a B.Sc. degree in Zoology in which he attained Second Class Honours. He holds an M.Sc. degree in Hydrobiology and Fisheries biology, and a PhD degree in Zoology from the University of Port Harcourt, which he did not finish according to Olusegun Obasanjo. Before he entered politics in 1998, he worked as an education inspector, lecturer, and environmental-protection officer.
Jonathan and his wife Patience have two children. He is a Christian, and he comes from the Ijaw ethnic group.
In 2007, President Jonathan declared his assets worth a total of ₦ 295,304,420 Naira ($1,845,652 USD). However, on 9 October 2014, the richestlifestyle.com website ranked Mr Jonathan sixth on its list, claiming his net worth was about $100m (£62m). He threatened to sue the website, claiming it “was an attempt to portray him as corrupt.” The page was removed, but was then published by another website which estimated Jonathan’s net wealth at $10 million.
Deputy Governor of Bayelsa
On 29 May 1999, Jonathan was sworn in as Deputy Governor of Bayelsa alongside Diepreye Alamieyeseigha who named in as the governor of the state on the platform of PDP. Jonathan served as Deputy Governor until December 2005.
Governor of Bayelsa
On 9 December 2005, Jonathan, who was Deputy Governor at the time, was sworn in as Governor of Bayelsa State upon the impeachment of the current Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha by the Bayelsa State Assembly after being charged with money laundering in the United Kingdom. In September 2006, Jonathan was marred by reports released by Wikileaks claiming his wife was indicted for money-laundering by Nigeria’s anti-crime agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The report proved to be false. The head of the EFCC stated that “Mrs. Jonathan was not in any way involved in any case of money laundering investigated by the EFCC”.
As Vice-President, Jonathan took a very low profile. While recognising the constitutional limits of the Vice-President’s office, he participated in cabinet meetings and, by statute, was a member of the National Security Council, the National Defence Council, the Federal Executive Council, and was the Chairman of National Economic Council.
Vice-President Jonathan was instrumental in negotiating an agreement with many of the major militant groups in the Niger Delta, who were mostly his fellow Ijaws, to lay down their weapons and stop fighting as part of a government amnesty.
On 9 February 2010, a motion from the Nigerian Senate invested Goodluck Jonathan as acting President of the Federation because President Yar’Adua went for medical treatment in Saudi Arabia in November 2009. On 10 February 2010, during his first day as acting president, Jonathan announced a minor cabinet reshuffle. Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, who was the Labour Minister, was named Minister of Justice, to replace Mr Mike Aondoakaa. Aondoakaa was named as the Minister of Special Duties, and his counterpart Ibrahim Kazaure, was named Minister of Labour.
Acting President Jonathan also promised to continue implementing the Seven-point agenda policy framework of President Umaru Musa Yar’adua.
Order of succession
In accordance with the order of succession in the Nigerian constitution following President Umaru Yar’Adua’s death on 5 May 2010, Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 6 May 2010, becoming Nigeria’s 14th Head of State. He cited anti-corruption, power and electoral reforms as focuses of his administration. He stated that he came to office under “very sad and unusual circumstances”.
On 18 May 2010, the National Assembly approved Jonathan’s nomination of former Kaduna State governor, Namadi Sambo, for the position of Vice-President.
2011 presidential campaign and elections
On 15 September 2010, Jonathan announced on Facebook that he had decided to run for public office on his own for the first time, in the race for the presidency of Nigeria in 2011.
In the contest for the Peoples Democratic Party nomination, Goodluck Jonathan was up against the former vice-president Atiku Abubakar and Mrs. Sarah Jubril. On 13 January 2011 the primary election results were announced in Eagle Square, Abuja. Jonathan was declared winner with a victory in two-thirds of the states of the Federation counted.
For the general election in 2011, Jonathan and Vice-President Sambo attended political events and travelled the country to campaign for the nation’s highest office. Jonathan won the general election against General Muhammadu Buhari and his running mate Pastor Tunde Bakare with 59% of the votes. On 18 April, Jonathan was declared the winner of the election.
Roadmap for Power Sector Reform
On 2 August 2010, Jonathan launched his ‘Roadmap for Power Sector Reform‘. Its primary goal was to achieve stable electricity supply in Nigeria.
Historically, the Nigerian Power Sector has been plagued by blackouts. Economists estimate that power outages have cost Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, billions of dollars in imported diesel for generators and lost output. In a study conducted by the World Bank, a lack of access to financing and electricity were cited as Nigeria’s main obstacles to development, surpassing corruption. President Jonathan has overseen the privatisation of Nigeria’s power sector with the end goal being the establishment of an efficient and reliable power supply infrastructure for the Nigerian population. The Power Holding Company of Nigeria, which acted as the nation’s electricity provider, has been broken up into 15 firms, with Nigeria handing over control of state electricity assets to 15 private bidding companies. The Nigerian government contracted for the services of CPCS Transcom Limited, a Canada-based consulting firm specialising in transportation and energy infrastructure projects, to act as the transaction adviser for the handover of state electricity assets.
Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria
On 11 October 2011, President Jonathan launched the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YOUWIN) Initiative which he stated would be an innovative business plan competition that harnesses the creative energies of young people between the ages of 18 and 35. The YOUWIN Initiative is expected to create between 40,000 to 50,000 sustainable jobs by 2014.
Lead poisoning incident
In January 2013, Jonathan reportedly promised $4 million to assist in cleaning up villages that have been affected by a lead poisoning incident. Over 400 children have died and Human Rights Watch said that releasing the funds “could be lifesaving for countless children.”
In 2011, President Jonathan launched the Transformation Agenda. The Transformation Agenda is based on a summary of how the Federal Government hopes to deliver projects, programmes, and key priority policies, from 2011 to 2015 coordinated by the National Planning Commission (NPC).
On 11 September 2013, President Jonathan sacked the creator and coordinator of the Transformation Agenda, Shamsudeen Usman, the Minister of National Planning. He was sacked along with eight other cabinet ministers amid a rift in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
According to President Jonathan, Nigeria’s foreign policy was reviewed to reflect a “citizen-focused” approach, designed to “accord this vision of defending the dignity of humanity the highest priority” and connect foreign policy to domestic policy, while placing a greater emphasis on economic diplomacy.
2015 presidential campaign and elections
On 31 March 2015, Jonathan conceded the election to challenger Muhammadu Buhari, who was sworn in to succeed him on 29 May 2015. Jonathan said in a statement he issued on 31 March 2015 that “Nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian”.