September 15, 2010 / 12:35 PM / 9 years ago

Factbox - Nigeria's Jonathan announces election bid

LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan will run in elections due in January, according to a statement issued on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

Here are some facts about Jonathan.


— Jonathan won election in 1999 as deputy governor of Bayelsa, one of three main states in the oil-producing Niger Delta, as a member of the ruling People’s Democratic Party. He became state governor in 2005 after his boss was impeached.

— He was nominated by the PDP as Umaru Yar’Adua’s running mate in the April 2007 presidential race. Yar’Adua won, although the election was marred by ballot-stuffing and intimidation.

— Jonathan led efforts under Yar’Adua to address unrest in the Niger Delta, where attacks by militants have cut oil output by around a fifth over the past three years.


— Jonathan represented Yar’Adua at cabinet meetings and official functions after the Nigerian leader was hospitalised in Saudi Arabia in November 2009.

— In his first use of executive power, Jonathan ordered troops to Jos in January to restore calm and prevent a repetition of clashes in November 2008, when hundreds of residents were killed in the country’s worst sectarian fighting in years.

— Jonathan chaired first cabinet meeting as acting head of state in February, seeking to revive government business after more than two months of stagnation.

— He removed Justice Minister and Attorney General Michael Aondoakaa. Aondoakaa had been among ministers who held out against formally transferring power to Jonathan during Yar’Adua’s absence.


— Jonathan was sworn in as president on May 6, 2010, a day after Yar’Adua died, vowing to fight corruption and promising to push through electoral reforms and organise credible polls.

— He announced a minor cabinet reshuffle in August, appointing two female opposition politicians from Nigeria’s north as junior ministers.

— Also in August, he announced his biggest policy drive yet, a multi-billion dollar strategy to end chronic power shortages by privatising the domestic energy sector.

— Jonathan replaced the heads of the military and security services in September, consolidating his hold on power. He also announced he had submitted a bill to create a sovereign wealth fund, in a bid to end political wrangling over the OPEC member’s windfall oil earnings.

— On September 15, Jonathan announces on his Facebook page that he plans to contest the 2011 elections.


— Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was born in the Niger Delta in November 1957 to a family of canoe makers. He studied zoology and worked as an education inspector, lecturer and environmental protection officer before going into politics in 1998.

— Usually dressed in his trademark fedora and traditional caftan-like attire, he has a PhD in zoology.

— The presidency website says he has been fascinated by nature since childhood, particularly the aquatic life of the mangrove creeks and waterways of his native Niger Delta

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