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Bayelsa: What is Jonathan up to?

Posted by By Bolade Omonijo, Deputy Political Editor on 2005/12/18 | Views: 397 |

Bayelsa: What is Jonathan up to?

Dr. Jonathan Goodluck is a man of destiny. Before 1998 when the military decided to withdraw from the national administration podium, Goodluck was content with life as an Assistant Director with the now defunct Oil Mineral Producing Area Development Commission (OMPADEC).

Dr. Jonathan Goodluck is a man of destiny. Before 1998 when the military decided to withdraw from the national administration podium, Goodluck was content with life as an Assistant Director with the now defunct Oil Mineral Producing Area Development Commission (OMPADEC).

At the time, he had probably thought handling the ecological beat of the commission’s assignment was sufficiently complementary of his previous work as a lecturer in the department of Biology of the College of Education, Port Harcourt.
However, 1998 proved a turning point. Following the death of the former maximum ruler, General Sani Abacha and the new political time table rolled out by his successor, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Jonathan decided to try his luck in the political arena. He became a pioneer member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State and had the good luck of emerging the running mate to Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, a retired squadron leader who was later to emerge the first elected executive governor of the young state.

It was a big challenge. Prior to the emergence of the new team, Yenagoa, the capital of the oil-rich state had facilities which, at best, qualified it as a local government area headquarters. Jonathan told those around him that he regarded it as a big challenge to participate actively in transforming the lives of the generality of the people.

Born on November 20, 1957, Dr. Goodluck E. Jonathan is a native of Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. He had his earlier education at St. Stephen’s primary school - Otuoke and later moved to St. Michael’s primary school Oloibiri, where he completed his primary education in 1969. Following his quest for education, the young lad proceeded to Mater Dei High School Imiringi for his secondary education in 1971. He passed the West Africa School Certificate in flying colours in 1975.
After his secondary education, Goodluck Jonathan had a two years stint as a para-military officer in the department of customs and exercise (i.e. 1975-1977).

Having consciously acknowledged that education is the only tool that can emancipate humanity, Goodluck Jonathan drew and implemented an educational calendar for himself. In 1977, he enrolled as a pioneer student of Zoology at the University of Port Harcourt. After the NYSC programme in 1982, he was invited for 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 excellent performance during the interview.

With a clear vision and purpose in life, Goodluck Jonathan retraced his affection for the academia. He then left the mainstream civil service for the College of Education, Port Harcourt where he took up an appointment as a Lecturer in the Department of Biology in November, 1983. While at the College, he was elected as the Representative of Congress in the Senior Staff Appointments and promotions committee. Two years later, he bagged a Master’s degree in Hydrobiology and Fisheries Biology he was awarded a doctor of philosophy (Zoology) degree.

Dr. Goodluck Jonathan joined the defunct Oil Mineral Producing Area Development Commission in March 1993 as an assistant Director (Ecology). He was deployed in the Directorate of Environment Protection and Pollution and Control where he was in charge of the environmental protection sub-department.
Today, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan bears a heavy burden. After serving as deputy governor of Bayelsa State for more than six years, he has mounted the saddle as the second executive Governor of the state. This feat he achieved in a most unique manner.

When his boss, former Governor Alamieyeseigha landed in trouble in far-away Great Britain, the lot of preserving peace in the state fell on Jonathan’s lean frame. He accomplished the task so well that he was described as a devoted and loyal deputy. He is on record as having declared that Alamieyeseigha should be presumed innocent until he was found guilty. Earlier in 2002, he had been adjudged the best deputy governor in the country by the Institute of Public Administration of Nigeria.
However, as a rational being, the tune changed when the former governor chose to commit the crime of jumping bail. That move, Jonathan and many others considered impatriotic and he choose to take the side of probity and relieving the poor people of Bayelsa of the pains visited on them by the resultant impasse.

What is Goodluck up to now? How far can he go? What is his programme for the people in the next 18 months? These are questions to which answers would unfold in the next six months. At the first meeting of the executive council, he has already given an indication of what to expect.

First, he is not one to rock boats unnecessarily. He is thus keeping the Alamieyeseigha team. At least for now. Second, he wants to make a point by signing a pact with the people ahead of 2007.
Bridges and roads are to be constructed in all the eight local government areas of the state before June 2006.
The situation is dicey on a slippery terrain, but Goodluck Jonanthan has the necessary academic and administrative experience to prove his mettle. Whether he also has the political savoy remains to be seen.

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Comments (3)

Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.