Happy 58th birthday to Nigeria’s former president Goodluck Jonathan!
Fellow Press deemed it fit to throw a gentle highlight on Dr. Jonathan’s political career. Enjoy as you have a quick read!
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, is an academic turned politician. He came into limelight politics when he was sworn in as Deputy Governor of Beyelsa state along with Diepreye Alamieyeseigha (of late memory) as the governor of the state on May 29th, 1999. He later became the governor in December 2005 on removal of Alamieyeseigha on account of corruption charges.
Jonathan did not stop there as he was picked as the running mate of the former president Umar Musa Yar’Adua (of late memory) and became the Vice President when his Peoples Democratic Parry (PDP) won the Presidential election in 2007. He however became the Acting President when Yar’Adua died, later sworn in a the President on 6 May 2010.
With the support of the former president and the then PDP godfather, General Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd.), Goodluck Jonathan contested for presidency in 2011 and had overwhelming victory against his opponents, including the Muhammadu Buhari of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). President Buhari later defeated Jonathan in the subsequent election in 2015 on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC).
Jonathan, now a diplomat sent around the world to hold peace talk owing to the role he played in allowing peace when he lost to Buhari. Most world political observers were envisaging Nigeria will split after the general election owing to hate campaigns from the major political parties; threats from Niger Delta, the South Eastern Nigeria, to shed blood should Jonathan lose in the election; and the insecurity on the part of Boko Haram insurgents in the Northern Nigeria.
The pre-election heat was so much, and fear of post-election crisis grew to the extent that a panel was set up to enable key political parties sign peace accord that they would accept whatever the outcome of the election without resorting to violence and but adhere to legal means.
We have capped a brief impacts made by Dr. Jonathan-led administration.
1. Freedom of the press. Jonathan created an atmosphere where journalism is practised at its best. Reporters and media houses can not only criticize the federal government but even the president. Now that Nigerians have tasted it, they are used to it. This is a sharp divergence form the norm of 30 years of military rule.
2. Jonathan conducted free and fair elections during his tenure. This include the 2011 poll which was adjudged to be the most credible election of its magnitude that has ever been conducted in the country, though it was not without its flaws. Unlike in other administrations, the Goodluck Jonathan administration has given a free hand to the country’s electoral umpire, INEC, to perform its statutory duties. He is also known not to intervene with electoral matters, making sure judiciary is independent during when any party desire election redress.
3. YOUWIN (The Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria ) programme initiative in 2011 where thousands of unemployed creative youths across Nigeria have empowered. The programme s to generate jobs by encouraging and supporting aspiring entrepreneurial youth in Nigeria to develop and execute business ideas that will lead to job creation. Though the programme reported to be halted by the present administration.
4. Additional nine federal universities were established across the country in states where federal degree awarding institutions were are not available.