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Nigeria polls: Who is Jonathan?

25 March 2015, 11:26

Abuja - President Goodluck Jonathan, who comes from the oil-rich Niger Delta, has led the country since 2010 and is seeking another four-year term in office.

The southern Christian known for his trademark black, wide-brimmed hat has chalked up a string of successes: steady economic growth, an improved railway system, privatised power generation to boost the country's erratic electricity supply and increased local participation in the oil and gas industry.

But Jonathan, 57, and his conservative People's Democratic Party (PDP) have been tainted by corruption allegations and stand accused of having been ineffective in the fight against Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram, which has killed an estimated 13 000 people since 2009.

Jonathan's rise to power was unexpected.

Also read: Nigeria aims to beat Boko Haram before election

A low-profile vice president, he was thrust into the spotlight when president Umaru Yar'Adua, also a Christian, fell ill and died in May 2010. Jonathan finished Yar'Adua's second term.

A few months later, Jonathan was Nigeria's first politician to announce his political candidacy on Facebook, for the 2011 elections.

The declaration caused friction within Africa's most populous nation of an estimated 178 million people. Jonathan's candidacy disregarded the PDP's tradition of alternating presidential power between north and south - and thereby Christian and Muslim - after two terms of office.



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