Goodluck Jonathan: Nigeria's embattled president

Story highlights

  • Jonathan's decision to end fuel subsidies led to protests
  • He had used his humble beginnings as political capital
  • He succeeded President Umaru Yar'Adua after his death
  • Critics cite his effort to extend presidency among series of blunders
He is the son of a canoe-carver, a mild-mannered academic who wears a fedora but eschews the flowing robes and bombastic brashness that often characterize Africa's "Big Man" leaders.
When elected president in April 2011, he was described as "Nigeria's Obama," a leader who would bring change to the oil-rich but poverty-ridden nation.
His countrymen believed a divine hand orchestrated his success. After all, his name spoke of his destiny: Goodluck Jonathan.
Now, just nine months after his election, Jonathan is an embattled leader whose popularity has plummeted. A Christian from southern Nigeria, he faces the challenges of growing sectarian violence and angry citizens who took to the streets in recent weeks, carrying mock coffins and placards calling him "President Badluck."
Protests over his decision to end fuel subsidies escalated to include discontent at corruption, mass unemploymen