Goodluck Jonathan’s Acceptance Speech
To many he is a man of great honor and outstanding integrity. A man many believe his humble beginning, selfless services and exemplary leadership qualities prepared him for his political success. His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, would be the first a Democratically Elected Nigerian President to holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Honors, University of Port Harcourt, Master of Science (M.Sc.) and Doctor of Philosophy.
An academic, a democrat, and an accomplished technocrat Dr.Jonathan holds an Honorary Fellowship of the Nigeria Environmental Society (NES), Fellow of the Public Administrators of Nigeria (PAN). Fellow of the International Association of Impact Assessment (IAIA), Bona Fide Member Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON). awarded “Best Performing Deputy Governor“, and conferred “Exemplary Leadership Quality and Good Governance Award”. And recently, he was given an Honorary Award for Democracy and Good Governance. A native of Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State – Nigeria, Goodluck
Ebele Jonathan was born November 20th, 1957, to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Ebele Jonathan. He was amply endowed with intelligence, strength and tact right from childhood, even though his parents were of a humble social background. Young Goodluck started his primary education at St. Stephen Primary School (now State School – Otuoke) and later proceeded to St Michael Primary School – Oloibiri where he passed his First School Leaving Certificate honorably. In 1971, the young lad furthered his studies at Mater Dei High School – Imiringi and by 1975, he sat for the West African School Certificate and passed with flying colors.
Goodluck Jonathan was identified to be a great child right from his tender age because of his attributes and rare disposition. His paternal grand mother “nicknamed” him “Azikiwe” as a striking simile to the great Zik to connote another great Nigerian to come in the nearest future. Goodluck was appointed Class Prefect in class three in 1973, he was further appointed Secretary to the School Food Committee, because of his brilliant disposition. And in his class four and five, he was again appointed Masterson House Prefect while his fellow prefects unanimously elected him as Chairman of the Committee of Prefects.
With his sparkling performance and enduring milieu, young Goodluck soon secured a job as a Preventive Officer in the Department of Customs and Excise from 1975 to 1977. He pursued his studies with impregnable zeal and by 1981 he graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons.) Second Class (Upper Division). As a Corper, he served Nigeria devotedly between 1981 and 1982 as a classroom teacher in Community Secondary School Iresi – Oyo State (now Osun State). After the mandatory service, Goodluck Jonathan was invited for a teaching appointment by the old Rivers State Civil Service Commission in 1982, he was however, appointed a Science Inspector of Education in the Ministry of Education because of his brilliant and intimidating performance at the interview.
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan always knew that he had a bond with the academia that he cannot dispute. Hence, he soon left the mainstream Civil Service for the College of Education where he took up an appointment as an academic in the Department of Biology in November 1983. Again, because of his disciplined nature and dedication to duty, he was elected as the Representative of Congress in the Senior Staff Appointments and Promotions Committee. A position he held till he voluntarily left the College in 1993. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan later picked an appointment as an Assistant Director in the defunct Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC), in March 1993. He was deployed to the Directorate of Environmental Protection and Pollution Control where he was directing the affairs of the Environmental Protection Sub-Department.
Dr. Jonathan is a member of various professional bodies, including the Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON), he is a Fellow of the International Association of Impact Assessment (IAIA), a Fellow of the Public Administrators of Nigeria (PAN), and he was also awarded the prestigious Honorary Fellowship of the Nigerian Environmental Society, following his stride’s contributions towards Environmental Management, and indeed the former Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State.
Also, his dedication to service, eventful life devoted entirely to humanity and monumental achievements as an accomplished leader earned him the “Best Performing Deputy Governor Award in the Federation in 2002, by the Institute of Public Administration of Nigeria (IPAN). Similarly, the National Association of Women in Education Development further honoured him with the Award of “Exemplary Leadership Quality and Good Governance” in July 2003. In further recognition of his dedication to service, the NUJ Abuja Council conferred on him a prestigious Honorary Award for Democracy and Good Governance.
A humane administrator, amazingly simple minded and loved by his people, friends and colleagues, nobody ever expected he will venture into the dicey and precarious nature of Nigerian politics. Nevertheless, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan saw the need to boost the socio-economic with political interest of the common man as well as bridge the lacuna of ruralurban dichotomy of his people through the provisions of social infrastructure. Hence, he took to politics in the Fourth Republic and pitched tent with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He was picked as the running mate to the Party’s flag bearer Chief D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha. The duo emerged victorious at the polls in the 1999 gubernatorial election, and so, Dr. Goodluck E. Jonathan became the first Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State. After a successful tenure, Dr. Jonathan repeated the feat where he led Chief D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha Campaign machinery popularly called ALAMCO. By the grace of God and the desire for Bayelsans to have a good government, the duo won the gubernatorial elections again, in 2003. And Goodluck Jonathan is thus, serving as a Deputy Governor for a second tenure.
All in all, one significant feat that has endeared Goodluck Jonathan to the Ogbia people is the peace he has brought to politics. At the inception of this Fourth Republic, the political activities were characterized with extreme violence and chaos. But he doggedly advocated for politics without rancor or violence and in his usual peaceful disposition without bitterness, Ogbia political silhouette is not only stable and homogeneous but one of the most violent free clan in Nigeria today. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is happily married to Mrs. Patience Faka Jonathan. The nuptial union is blessed with two children.
Dr. Jonathan is a man well recognized for his cluster of achievements and immense contributions to the polity, communal liberalism, growth, and general welfare of the people. Beyond these, he is a humble man, dearly loved and respected. He has remained in the consciousness of his friends and contemporaries, as a builder of human social bridges. He is a teacher, technocrat, a democrat, a man of transparent honesty and humility; a perfect gentleman, a tender loving husband and an unshakable believer in the unity, not only of Ogbia clan but also of Nigeria.