Nigerian President and presidential candidate of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) Goodluck Jonathan waves to supporters during a rally in Maiduguri on January 24, 2015. Boko Haram fighters have killed 15 villagers near Maiduguri, the epicen ~ TUNJI OMIRIN
November 20, 1957 in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Goodluck Jonathan began his primary
education at St Stephen’s Primary School (now State School, Otuoke) and later
moved to St Michael’s Primary School, Oloibiri, where he completed his
elementary education in 1969, at the age of 12.
to Mater Dei High School, Imiringi for his secondary education and passed out
in 1975 with distinctions.
securing admission into the university, Jonathan worked as a Preventive Officer
with the Department of Customs and Excise for two years
In 1977, he secured admission into the
Department of Zoology, University of Port Harcourt. He was one of the pioneer
students of the university.
with a B.Sc. in Zoology in 1981, an M.S. in Hydrobiology and Fisheries Biology
(1985), and a Ph.D. in Zoology (1995).
pursuing his doctorate, he taught at Rivers State College of Education from
1983 until 1993. He then served as an assistant director at the Oil Mineral
Producing Areas Development Commission, a now defunct government agency, from
1993 until 1998.
Goodluck’s political career began when he became involved with the nascent
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the late 1990s. He was elected deputy
governor of Bayelsa state in 1999 under the party’s banner. He served in the
position until year 2005, when he was elevated to the governorship after the
incumbent, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, was charged with corruption and was
In 2007 he
was selected as the vice presidential running mate of the PDP’s presidential
candidate, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. He and Yar’Adua were elected in April and
inaugurated in May 2007.
He was sworn
in as the President on 6 May 2010 following the death of Yar’ Adua on May 5.
the 2011 presidential election and defeated General Muhammadu Buhari of the
Congress for Progressive Chang (CPC) and Nuhu Ribadu of the Action Congress of
Nigeria (ACN) with 59% of the votes.
dedication to service earned him the Best Performing Deputy Governor Award, as
well as the Honourary Award for Democracy and Good Governance.
contributions to Environmental Management, he was decorated with the
prestigious Honourary Fellowship of the Nigerian Environmental Society.
A member of
various professional associations around the world, he remains a Fellow of the
Fisheries Society of Nigeria, FISON, Fellow of the Public Administrators of
Nigeria, Fellow, International Association of Impact Assessment, IAIA, and
Fellow, Institute of Corporate Affairs Management. He is also a member, Science
Teachers Association of Nigeria, and Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary International.