Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, GCFR, BNER, GCON popularly known as GEJ was born 20th November 1957 to a humble Niger Delta family of canoe makers in Otueke, Ogbia Local Government Area of the then Eastern Region, later Rivers State and now Bayelsa State.
He is the 14th Head of State and current President of Nigeria. Prior to his role as President, he served as Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, 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).
Jonathan started his primary education at St. Stephen Primary School (now State School – Otuoke) and later proceeded to St Michael Primary School – Oloibiri, finished in1969.
In 1971, he proceeded to Mater Dei High School – Imiringi and by 1975; he sat for the West African School Certificate and passed with distinctions.
Goodluck Jonathan’s leadership qualities were spotted from his tender age. He was appointed Class Prefect in class three in 1973; he was further appointed Secretary to the School Food Committee. And in his classes four and five, he was appointed Masterson House Prefect and later elected as Chairman of the Committee of Prefects.
In quest for further education, Goodluck proceeded to the University of Port Harcourt to study Zoology. In 1981, he graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons.) Second Class (Upper Division) and proceeded for his National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) in Oyo state between 1981 and 1982. As a Youth corp member, he served as a classroom teacher in Community Secondary School Iresi – Oyo State (now Osun State).
Between 1985 and 1995 he got his Master’s and Ph.D degrees in Hydro-Biology and Fisheries Biology, and Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology respectively, from the same University of Port Harcourt.
Before he ventured into politics, he worked as a Preventive Officer with the Nigerian Customs Service from 1975 to 1977 (Before he went to University of Port Harcourt).
After Youth service in 1982, Goodluck Jonathan was appointed Science Inspector of Education in the Ministry of Education by the then Rivers State Civil Service Commission.
He has also worked as a Lecturer. And In 1993 he was appointed an Assistant Director (Ecology of the defunct Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) in charge of Environmental Protection.
Working in a developmental environment, his desire to better of the lot of the people motivated him to answer the call to service. He resigned his job in 1998 and went into politics.
Bayelsa State Deputy Governor
On 29 May 1999, Jonathan was sworn in as Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State alongside Diepreye Alamieyeseigha who was sworn in as the Governor of the state on the platform of PDP. Jonathan served as Deputy Governor until December 2005
Bayelsa State governorship
On 12 December 2005, Goodluck Jonathan became the Governor of Bayelsa State after Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, was impeached by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly.
In December 2006, Jonathan was nominated as running mate to Umaru Musa Yar’Adua for the ruling PDP presidential ticket in the April 2007 election as he was busy preparing for re election to his first full term as substantive Governor of Bayelsa state. After a keenly contested election, the Yar’adua/Jonathan ticket won, and on May 29, 2007, he was sworn in as Nigeria’s Vice President.
As Vice President, Jonathan took on a very low profile while recognizing the constitutional limits of the Vice President office; he participated in cabinet meetings and, by statute, membership in the National Security Council, the National Defence Council, Federal Executive Council, and the Chairman of National Economic Council.
On 23rd November 2009, President Umaru Yar’Adua left Nigeria for medical treatment. On 13th January 2010, a federal court handed Vice-President Jonathan the power to carry out state affairs in the president’s continued absence. On 22nd January 2010, the Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had 14 days to decide on a resolution about whether President Yar’Adua “is incapable of discharging the functions of his office”.
Dr. Jonathan assumed office as Nigeria’s Acting President on February 9, 2010, by virtue of a National Assembly resolution empowering him as Acting President, following President Yar’Adua’s long absence for medical attention in Saudi Arabia.
However, on May, 6, 2010, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was sworn-in as President making him Nigeria’s 14th Head of State as President, Commander-in-chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria following the passing away of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on May 5, 2010.
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 President Goodluck Jonathan’s nomination of former Kaduna State governor, Namadi Sambo, an architect, for the position of Vice President.
In April, 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan won the general election against General Muhammadu Buhari and Nuhu Ribadu with 59% of the votes.
Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is happily married to Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan, and they are blessed with children.