By Eric Elezuo
Talk of a man whose name follows like a leech, then you talk about Nigeria’s immediate past president, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; a man, who is known to have sacrificed his personal ambition to keep Nigeria one, in spite of Western countries prediction of a breakup, a man who nature bestowed with unfettered good tidings.
Hurray to a gentleman to the core at 60!
A very humble person with a humble backgroud, Jonathan was born in Otueke, Ogbia Local Government Area in what is today Bayelsa State on November 20, 1957, to a family of canoe makers.
From a dint of hardwork, and determination to progress and make a mark in life, jonathan pushed through school the hard way, confirming that he never had shoes while going to school.
But as providence will have it, coupled with luck which has not failed to appear in his situation often and on, Jonathan went through school, graduating with a Second Class Honours B.Sc. Degree in Zoology
Not only that, the man who is named after the great Zik of Africa, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, did not rest on his oars but kept on moving. He went ahead to obtain an M.Sc. degree in Hydrobiology and Fisheries biology, in a ddition to a PhD degree in Zoology from the University of Port Harcourt. He is a seasoned academia.
Before he ventured into the world of politics in 1998, he worked as an education inspector, lecturer, and environmental-protection officer in various establishments including the University of Port Harcourt, his alma mater.
His life in politics has been that of service to humanity, culminating in handing over to President Muhammadu Buhari, who beat him in the 2015 General Elections. He had told Nigerians prior to that his ambition is not worth the blood of Nigerians.
Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan GCFR GCON served as President of Nigeria, from 2010 to 2015. He was the Vice-President of Nigeria before then (2007 to 2010) i.e prior to the death of his boss, Alhaji Musa Yaradua.
Having played politics from the very grassroot, Jonathan had served as a councillor, LGA chairman before becoming the Deputy of Bayelsa State in 1999. In 2005, mother was gracious to him as he became the Governor following the impeachment of his boss, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who arrested for financial related crimes in London but escaped. He left Bayelsa state house office in 2007 to become Nigeria’s Vice President.
Jonathan may not have had a smooth run while growing up, but his adult life has been a statement of one generosity after another
For a man who was destined to be President, he stepped into the shoes of Yar’dua when he died in May 2010, and contested to continue in 2011. He was massively voted in, the first Ijaw ethnic nationality man to be so endowed.
A practicing Christian, Jonathan is married to the colourful Patience, with whom he has two children, Aruabi and Ariwera
In 2007, Jonathan became the first President to declare his assets worth a total of ₦ 295,304,420 Naira ($1,845,652 USD).
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.
As 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.
A loyal subordinate, Jonathan also promised to continue implementing the Seven-point agenda policy framework of his predecessor, Umaru Musa Yar’adua.
Since leaving office in 2015, Jonathan has been linked to various corruption related incidences However, none of them has been proved, and the former president has maintained his innocence.
As the great man clocks 60, various congratulatory messages have come from various quarters including the Presidency, President Buhari himself, the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and many other prominent citizens and institutions of the world.
The Boss Newspapers hereby join all well-meaning Nigerians to wish an outstanding statesman a happy diamond jubilee anniversary!