President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (born 20 November 1957) is a Nigerian politician and currently the President of Nigeria. He was Governor of Bayelsa State from 9 December 2005 to 28 May 2007, and was sworn in as Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 29 May 2007. Jonathan is a member of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP). On 13 January 2010, a federal court handed him the power to carry out state affairs while President Umaru Yar'Adua received medical treatment in a Saudi Arabian hospital. A motion from the Nigerian Senate on 9 February 2010 confirmed these powers to act as President. On 24 February 2010 Yar'Adua returned to Nigeria, but Jonathan continued as acting president. Upon Yar'Adua's death on 5 May 2010, Jonathan succeeded to the Presidency, taking the oath of office on 6 May 2010.
Jonathan was born in Otueke in Ogbia Local Government Area of the then Eastern Region, later Rivers State, now Bayelsa State. He holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Zoology in which he attained Second Class Honours, Upper Division. He also holds an M.Sc. in Hydrobiology/Fisheries biology, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Zoology from the University of Port Harcourt. After obtaining his degree, he worked as an education inspector, lecturer, and environmental-protection officer, until he decided to enter politics in 1998.
He is married to Patience Faka Jonathan and has two children. Jonathan is a member of the Ijaw ethnic group.
Career - Professional:
Bayelsa State governorship
Jonathan, previously the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, succeeded Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who was impeached by the Bayelsa State Assembly after being charged with money laundering in the United Kingdom. In September 2006, Jonathan's wife was indicted by the nation's anti-crime agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for money laundering related offences.
In December 2006, Jonathan was selected as running mate to Umaru Yar'Adua for the ruling PDP presidential ticket in the April 2007 election. On 20 April 2007, shortly before the presidential election, a militant attack that was described by police as an assassination attempt against Jonathan occurred in Bayelsa State.
Following the PDP's disputed electoral victory, militants blew up Jonathan's country house in Otu-Eke, Bayelsa State on 16 May; two policemen were killed in the attack. Jonathan was not present at the time. After taking office, Yar'Adua publicly declared his assets, and on 8 August 2007, Jonathan also did so. According to Jonathan, as of 30 May 2007 he had a total of 295,304,420 naira ($8,569,662.40) in assets.
President Umaru Yar'Adua left Nigeria on 23 November 2009 for medical treatment. He did not provide for anyone to assume his duties. On 13 January 2010, a federal court handed Vice-President Jonathan the power to carry out state affairs in the president's continued absence. On 22 January 2010, the Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled that the Federal Ministries had 14 days to decide on a resolution about whether President Yar'Adua "is incapable of discharging the functions of his office". On 9 February 2010, the Senate determined that presidential power should be transmitted to the Vice President. He was appointed to serve as Acting President, with all the accompanying powers, until when and if Yar'Adua returned to full health. The power transfer was called a "coup without the word" by opposition lawyers and lawmakers. The Nigerian Constitution requires a written letter from the President stating he is unable to serve or that the cabinet sends a medical team to examine him but this provision has not apparently been fulfilled leaving some doubts as to the constitutionality of the action.
Yar'Adua died on 5 May 2010. Jonathan was sworn in as Yar'Adua's replacement on 6 May 2010, becoming Nigeria's 14th Head of State. He will serve as President until the next election. Upon taking office, Jonathan cited anti-corruption, power and electoral reform as likely focuses of his administration. He stated that he came to office under "very sad and unusual circumstances.