Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, GCFR, BNER, GCON (born 20 November 1957) is the 14th Head of State and current President of Nigeria. Prior to his role as President, he served as Governor of Bayelsa State and Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Jonathan is a member of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP).
Early and personal life
Jonathan was born in what is now Bayelsa State to a family of canoe makers. Jonathan holds a B.S. degree in Zoology in which he attained Second Class Honours. He holds an M.Sc. degree in Hydrobiology and Fisheries biology, and a Ph.D. degree in Zoology from the University of Port Harcourt. He worked as an education inspector, lecturer, and environmental-protection officer. He entered politics in 1998.
Jonathan and his wife Patience have two children. He is a Christian. He comes from the Ijaw.
Jonathan (fifth from right) standing with other world leaders at a meeting of the Economic Community of West African States in July 2010.
President Umaru Yar'Adua died on 5 May 2010. Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as Yar'Adua's successor on the following day, 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.
On 29 June 2010, Jonathan launched a Facebook page in accordance with his promise to interact more with Nigerians.
On 2 August 2010 Jonathan launched 'Roadmap for Power Sector Reform‘, achieving stable electricity in Nigeria.
On 15 September 2010, Jonathan announced on Facebook that he had decided to run for reelection. This made him the first Nigerian president to declare his re-election bid via social media.
He won with 59% of the votes. On 18 April, Jonathan was declared the winner of the election. His victory was, however, followed by violence in the north over claims of vote rigging.
Removal of fuel subsidy
On 13 December 2011, the 2012 fiscal year's budget removed any provisions for fuel subsidy. The issue of fuel subsidy removal in Nigeria has always been a controversial topic. According to a poll carried out by the Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE- Nigeria), 80% of Nigerians opposed the plan to remove fuel subsidy.
On 1 January 2012, the Jonathan administration announced the start of a controversial plan to end fuel subsidies. Many prominent Nigerians have spoken out against the removal of fuel subsidy by the Jonathan administration. Former Petroleum Minister Professor Tam David-West has spoken out and expressed concern that the planned removal of fuel subsidy will squeeze the economy, increase inflation, and hurt both businesses and the public.
A former military Head of State and a former Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources, General Buhari, urged President Jonathan not to remove fuel subsidy and to tackle corruption.
General Yakubu Gowon, another former military Head of State, has warned the government that the country's infrastructure should be revived before fuel subsidy removal steps are taken.
Former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, joined millions of Nigerians protesting against the removal of fuel subsidy by the Jonathan administration, saying that the action is ill-timed.
Following the The Nigeria Labour Congress' warning that the country faces many strikes, the country unions followed up with strikes that were matched with civil protests from 9–13 January 2012. Protesters and groups called for President Jonathan to resign over the removal of fuel subsidies. After five days of national protests and strikes, on 16 January, Jonathan announced that the pump price of petroleum would be 97 naira per liter.
1st October 2010 Independence Day Bomb Blast
During his South African magistrate court trial on 2 May 2012, MEND's (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) former leader Henry Okah came out and insisted that President Jonathan masterminded bomb attacks. He told the court that President Jonathan and his aides organised the October 1, 2010 independence day bomb attacks in Abuja in a desperate political strategy to demonize political opponents, including the former military President General Ibrahim Babangida, and to win popular sympathy ahead of the 2011 elections.
The Nigerian Presidency has denied the allegations of terrorism levelled against President Jonathan. A media statement was issued on 2 May 2012, acknowledging the accusations from Okah. The statement went on to say that: “The Presidency categorically affirms that these allegations are false in their entirety and without any factual foundation." The Presidency also expressed no interest in commenting further for the time being, but plans to "make a full representation on the matter to the court when the trial opens."
Renaming of the University of Lagos
In May 2012, President Jonathan changed the name of the University of Lagos, renaming it the Moshood Abiola University in honour of the late MKO Abiola. The action drew attention from critics -- among them were pro-Abiola advocates and parties involved with the university. Some critics cited that the President did not submit an appropriate bill to the legislature for the change; that the University's brand name should not be tampered with. The UNILAG Alumni Association commented that although they do not have prejudice against MKO Abiola, they were concerned "that neither the Governing Council nor the University Senate nor any other stakeholder was consulted before the change was announced." Bola Tinubu congratulated Jonathan for taking action, but urged him to "do it right", adding that "we must be careful not to localise or sectionalise MKO". The President has attempted to regularize the renaming of the school by submitting a bill for an amendment of the University's establishing law to the legislature.
On 26 August 2011, after the UN building in Abuja was bombed by Boko Haram, Jonathan announced that it was not merely an attack on Nigeria, but on the international community. He told reporters that "we would work together with the UN and other world leaders to ensure that terrorism is brought under control. On Christmas Day, after a church was bombed and more violence occurred in the north, Jonathan came in for more criticism over the security challenge in the country. Further attacks occurred on Christmas and in early January 2012, claimed by Boko Haram.
In addition to the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta's attack on a oil pipeline on 4 February 2012 in Bayelsa, the Senate President David Mark stated that the security situation in the country is "intolerable."
- Lawson Heyford, "Jonathan: A Colossus at 49", The Source (Lagos), 11 December 2006
- "Profile: Goodluck Jonathan". BBC News. 6 May 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8510390.stm. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
- "Profile: Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria's unlikely leader". BBC. 22 February 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8510390.stm. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
- President,Commander-In-Chief.aspx News Agency of Nigeria story on newly sworn President Jonathan
- "Nigeria swears in new president". Al-Jazeera. 6 May 2010. http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2010/05/20105681641917266.html. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
- Punch Newspaper "NASS confirms Sambo as vice president" http://www.punchontheweb.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art201005185541038
- "National Assembly confirms Sambo as Vice President", Liberty News
- Facebook fan-page
- Roadmap for Power Sector Reform
- Webster, George (1 October 2010). "Goodluck Jonathan: The Facebook president". CNN. http://articles.cnn.com/2010-10-01/tech/goodluck.jonathan.facebook.profile_1_facebook-fans-popular-social-networking-site-nigerian-president?_s=PM:TECH. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- "Goodluck Jonathan sworn in as Nigerian president". The Guardian. 29 May 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/29/goodluck-jonathan-nigerian-president. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- CNN report on the 2011 general election in Nigeria
- "Nigeria’s President Removes Petrol Subsidy". http://pmnewsnigeria.com/2011/12/13/nigerias-president-removes-petrol-subsidy/l.
- "80% Of Nigerians Oppose Subsidy Removal - Pollsters". http://www.leadership.ng/nga/articles/10680/2011/12/16/80_nigerians_oppose_subsidy_removal_-_pollsters.html.
- "Nigeria fuel subsidy end raises protest fears". BBC News. 1 January 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16379231.
- "Subsidy removal will choke economy, says David-West". http://www.thenationonlineng.net/2011/index.php/business/27455-subsidy-removal%C2%A0will-choke-economy,-says-david-west.html.
- "Buhari to Jonathan - Leave Subsidy, Tackle Graft". http://allafrica.com/stories/201112140239.html.
- "Gowon to Jonathan: don’t remove subsidy now". http://www.thenationonlineng.net/2011/index.php/news/29461-gowon-to-jonathan%3A-don’t-remove-subsidy-now.html.
- "IBB: Deregulation Ill-timed". http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/ibb-deregulation-ill-timed/106317/.
- "Protests In Lagos, Ibadan Over Removal Of Subsidy". http://pmnewsnigeria.com/2012/01/03/protests-in-lagos-ibadan-over-removal-of-subsidy/.
- "Subsidy Removal - CNPP Calls for Jonathan's Resignation". http://allafrica.com/stories/201112140825.html.
- "Nigeria Cuts Fuel Prices After Strike, Protests". http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Nigerian-Unions-President-Fail-to-Resolve-Subsidy-Stalemate-137358213.html/.
- ""Jonathan Begged Me To Blame North For October 1 Blasts", Henry Okah Claims". http://thestreetjournal.org/2012/05/%E2%80%9Cjonathan-begged-me-to-blame-north-for-october-1-blasts%E2%80%9D-henry-okah-claims/.
- "Okah Lied over Oct 2010 Bombing". http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/okah-lied-over-oct-2010-bombing/114992/.
- "Jonathan denies allegations that he masterminded Independence Day bombings". http://www.channelstv.com/home/2012/05/02/jonathan-denies-allegations-that-he-masterminded-independence-day-bombings/.
- Soyinka, Wole. "Goodluck Jonathan’s Gift Horse By Wole Soyinka". Daily Post. http://dailypost.com.ng/2012/05/31/goodluck-jonathans-gift-horse-by-wole-soyinka/. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- Babalola, Afe. "Renaming UNILAG is illegal and unconstitutional (2)". Punch. http://www.punchng.com/opinion/renaming-unilag-is-illegal-and-unconstitutional-2/. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- Various (1 June 2012). "Tinubu, Fayemi, others reject UNILAG renaming". Punch. http://www.punchng.com/news/tinubu-fayemi-others-reject-unilag-renaming/. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- Sahara Reporters (30 May 2012). "UNILAG Alumni Association rejects institution’s name change by Jonathan". Information Nigeria. http://www.informationnigeria.org/2012/05/unilag-alumni-association-rejects-institutions-name-change-by-jonathan.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- "Nigerian leader vows to fight terrorism after UN attack". BBC News. 28 August 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14696446.
- "Nigerian Militant Group MEND Says It Attacked Eni Pipeline". http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-02-06/nigerian-militant-group-mend-says-it-attacked-eni-pipeline.html.
- "Nigeria's security situation 'intolerable': senate president". http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ggRt4Rl9dBkhKvpkWdPw-cQuNI7w?docId=CNG.560db9496881b830cd81321b1814191e.c1/.