27 Mar 2015

Jonathan: Uncommon journey to greatness.

President Goodluck Jonathan comes across as
one of the favourites in tomorrow’s
election. Having learnt the ropes as a deputy
governor, Vice-President, acting-President and
President, he appears well groomed for the
position he is seeking.
President Goodluck Jonathan

The fact that he is the incumbent President,
creates an aura of edge around him, but that is
limited by arguments that incumbency does not
seem to be an asset in this race.
His journey from the creeks of the Niger-Delta
region to the highest office in Nigeria, was
obviously very unlikely.

Such journeys are only possible in a few places
and hardly possible in this part of the globe.
Jonathan’s rise from a shoeless son of a local
ship builder to the highest office in the land is a
remarkable reflection of the Shakespearean quote
that ‘’Some are born great, some achieve
greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon
them,’’ Jonathan had greatness thrust upon him.

That does not imply that the President did not
arm himself with the prerequisites required for
greatness to be thrust upon him.
Just as his name ‘’Goodluck’’ suggests, Jonathan,
who was born in 1957, has been extremely lucky
in his public career, leading to the belief that he
is being favoured by unseen hands.
Jonathan, who has a doctorate degree in Zoology
had often been at the right place at the right
time, thereby becoming a beneficiary of various
top leadership vacuums that had existed in
Nigeria’s political trajectory.

Until mid 1998, he was a deputy director in the
Oil Minerals Producing Areas Development
Commission, OMPADEC, residing in the OMPADEC
quarters, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. Sometime
late that year, he played host to a former military
man who incidentally, he was meeting for the
first time.

For that visit by the then Bayelsa State
gubernatorial aspirant, Chief Diepreye
Alamieyeseigha, Jonathan would have by now
been approaching his retirement from the civil
Alamieyeseigha, who was accompanied on that
trip by one Gordon Bozimo, went there with the
simple request of telling Jonathan, who he had
never met to resign from the services of
OMPADEC to become his running mate.

Though Jonathan accepted after some time,
Alamieyeseigha was to change his mind upon
some intrigues that arose and had proposed to
drop Jonathan from the ticket but one incident or
another delayed the process of substituting him
putting him in good luck to become the deputy
governor of Bayelsa State at the advent of the
Fourth Republic.
In the second term of that administration, luck
again fell on Jonathan in December, 2005 when
Alamieyeseigha was removed from office.

Jonathan was not directly involved and he
according to sources took safety in Bauchi under
the protective comfort of the then governor of the
state, Adamu Mu‘azu while the political intrigues
played out in his native Bayelsa State.

After becoming governor, all he wanted was to
win the 2007 election and was on his way in that
regard after riding the tide of incumbency to edge
out the more rooted Timi Alaibe. But his course
and the nation’s course was changed when luck
again smiled on him to pick up the vice-
presidential ticket of the party.

Not long after the luck of Jonathan came calling
again when he was elevated to the presidency in
2010 after the death of President Umaru
Yar‘Adua. Before then he had become he had by
the Doctrine of Necessity, projected by the
National Assembly been declared as acting
In the election that followed in 2011, Jonathan
triumphed over two of his main challengers to
become the first person in the history of Nigeria
to have served as deputy governor, governor, vice
president, acting president and president.

It is a record that has put him as the most
experienced executive office holder in the history
of Nigeria.

His record, however, is a matter of divided
opinions between his passionate supporters and
his critics.

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