January 13, 2011

Jonathan: The prize of loyalty

A disarming “fine boy” look as the locals in his native Niger Delta region would describe him is perhaps Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s potent weapon against authoritarian  superiors. Neither Dipereye Alamieyeseigha nor the late President Umaru Yar`Adua may have figured out the unfading luck that has been the lot of Nigeria’s current Commander-in-Chief.

His lucky streak in his short political life has been remarkably aided by an enduring attitude that has paid off for him at all times. He is not just married to a woman whose name is Patience, he is married to a patient spirit that has catapulted him from the barefooted schoolboy to the leader of the world’s most populous black nation.

As deputy governor to Alamieyeseigha, Jonathan patiently endured the humiliation that was the lot of many deputies in his time. His office at that time was positioned as the boy’s quarter just beside the executive council meeting room.

Born on November, 20th, 1957, in Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State Nigeria, Goodluck as his official biography from his campaign office says was “amply endowed with intelligence, strength and tact right from childhood, even though his parents were of a humble social background.”

His story as told by the campaign runs thus:

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 honourably. In 1971, the young lad furthered his studies at Mater Dei High School Irniringi and by 1915, he sat for the West African School Certificate and passed with flying colours.”

“Goodluck Jonathan was identified to be a great child right from his tender age because of his attributes and rare disposition. No wonder 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 1913, 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.”

“However, because of his dogged quest for academic knowledge, Goodluck Jonathan promptly enrolled as a pioneer student in the department of Zoology at the newly established University of Port Harcourt, in 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. To equip himself firmly ahead of the foresighted challenges, he enrolled again for a post graduate programme in the University of Port Harcourt.”

“More so, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan later picked an appointment as an Assistant Director in the defunct Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Comrnission (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 (lAIA), a Fellow of the Public Administrators of Nigeria (PAN), and he was also awarded the prestigious Honorary Fellowship of the Nigerian Environmental Socie following his stride’s contributions towards Environmental Management.”

The campaign further describes him as 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 rural urban dichotomy of his people through the provisions of social infrastructure.”

Dr. Jonathan 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 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 homogenous but one of the most violent free clan in Nigeria today.”