Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, a former teacher, inspector of education, lecturer, and Environmental Protection and Pollution Control officer, became Nigeria's second university educated Head of Government, was sworn in again on May 29, 2011 for a full four year term, as the President of Nigeria following his victory in the April 2011 presidential elections. Goodluck Jonathan is the third President of Nigeria's Fourth Republic and the fourteenth Head of Government in about 40 years. He had been the President of Nigeria from May 6, 2010 to May 28, 2011 after the death of
President Umaru Yar'Adua on May 5, 2010 and is a member of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP)
Goodluck Jonathan, an Ijaw from Nigeria's Niger Delta, was born on November 20, 1957 in Otueke in Ogbia Local Government Area, Bayelsa state to a family of canoe makers. He holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Zoology, an M.Sc. in Hydrobiology/Fisheries biology and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Zoology. He worked as an education inspector, lecturer, and environmental-protection officer, until he entered politics in 1998
He started his education at St Stephen’s Primary School, Otueke and completed his primary education at St Michael's Primary School, Oloibiri in 1969. He then attended Mater Dei High School, Imiringi, finished in 1975 and worked as a Preventive Officer with the Department of Customs and Excise until 1977 when he started his undergraduate studies in the Department of Zoology at the University of Port Harcourt in Rivers State. He graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree (Second Class Honours - Upper Division) in Zoology .
From 1981 to 1982 he served as a Youth Corper in the mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corp at Iresi, Osun state and after he completed the program in 1982, he became a teacher in the Rivers State Civil Service Commission and then moved to the position of Science Inspector of Education in the Ministry of Education. In 1983, he became a lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences at the Rivers State College of Education in Port Harcourt, Rivers state and in 1995 he obtained a Masters degree (M.Sc.) in Hydro-Biology and Fisheries Biology at the University of Port Harcourt.
In 1992, he was appointed the Assistant Director, Ecology in the Directorate of Environmental Protection and Pollution Control and while at the Directorate he obtained a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Zoology from the University of Port Harcourt in 1995. In 1998, he started his career as a politician and in 1999, as a member of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), he was elected as deputy governor to Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha in Bayelsa state. In 2005, Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was impeached on corruption charges and Goodluck Jonathan became the governor of Bayelsa state. In 2006, he was selected to run as the vice-presidential candidate on the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential ticket in the 2007 presidential elections.
He was Vice-President of Nigeria from May 2007 until February 9, 2010 when Nigeria's Senate invoked the doctrine of necessity to empower him to serve as Acting President, with all the accompanying powers, due to President Yar'Adua's prolonged absence from Nigeria. On January 13, 2010, a Federal High Court in Nigeria had handed him the power to run the affairs of the presidency while President Yar'Adua was receiving medical treatment in a hospital in Saudi Arabia. President Yar'Adua died on May 5, 2010 and Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as President of Nigeria on May 6, 2010, becoming Nigeria's fourteenth Head of State, as mandated by the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Chapter 6, Section 146, Subsection 1 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states: “The Vice-President shall hold the office of President if the office of President becomes vacant by reason of death or resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or the removal of the President from office for any other reason in accordance with section 143 of this Constitution.”
On September 15, 2010, President Goodluck Jonathan announced his decision to contest in the Presidential elections. On January 14, 2011, President Jonathan was elected as the Presidential candidate of the ruling People's Democratic Party for the 2011 Presidential elections, and on April 18, 2011, Goodluck Jonathan was declared the winner of the 2011 Nigerian presidential elections.
Goodluck Jonathan is married, with two children, to Patience Faka Jonathan