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Jonathan, Goodluck Ebele

Jonathan, Goodluck Ebele, 1957–, Nigerian politician, president of Nigeria (2010–). An Ijaw from the Niger delta region, he was educated as a zoologist (Ph.D. Univ. of Port Harcourt, 1995) and worked as a teacher, education inspector, college lecturer, and (from 1993) assistant director for the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission. He entered politics in 1998 and was elected (1999, 2003) deputy governor of his native Bayelsa State. Jonathan succeeded to the governorship in 2005 after the governor was impeached for corruption. A member of the People's Democratic party (PDP), he was elected Nigeria's vice president in 2007 as Umaru Yar'Adua 's running-mate, and after Yar'Adua went abroad (Dec., 2009) for medical treatment and did not soon return, he was named acting president (Feb., 2010) by a National Assembly vote and remained in that post when the president returned later in February. Jonathan succeeded Yar'Adua as president when the latter died in May, 2010. He won a presidential term in his own right in Apr., 2011, but the election was marred by suspicions of vote fraud in some southern states. By early 2014, Jonathan was increasingly subject to suspicions that his government was tolerating corruption these had been aroused by such actions as the pardoning of the former governor of Bayelsa and the suspension of the central bank governor (who had accused the state oil company of not accounting for all income). Corruption and the military's failure to defeat Boko Haram contributed to Jonathan's loss to Muhammadu Buhari in the Apr., 2015, presidential election.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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