Jonathan, who was born on Wednesday, November 20, 1957, into the family of Mr. Lawrence and Mrs. Eunice Jonathan, has had a story described in many quarters as a journey from ‘grass to grace.’
This son of canoe makers, rose from a Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State to becoming Nigeria’s President, the highest office in the country. Jonathan, who held sway as the country’s No. 1 citizen for 60 months/24days (5 May 2010 – 29 May 2015) is many things to many people.
The social media has been abuzz since midnight as torrents of tributes have continued to pour in for Jonathan, whom many described as a statesman and Nigeria’s hero of democracy.
Against this backdrop, we captures 59 quotable quotes of Ex-President Jonathan as he clocks 59 today.
Quote 1 The stronger the boat of (democracy), the more it is able to meet the challenges of its voyage and deliver on its promise to citizens.
Quote 2 The air of freedom we breathe today is the result of the sacrifices of thousands of pro-democracy activists, human rights campaigners and others who organised as civil society.
Quote 3 My political ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.
Quote 4 No minister will be allowed to go on a mission of endless search for solutions.
Quote 5 In the comfort of our offices, let us not forget that majority of our people live below the poverty line.
Quote 6 Terrorism has no conscience and spares no one.
Quote 7 Any society or country that closes the vital valves of its democratic space cannot develop at a reasonable pace.
Quote 8 Where there is no opportunity for one man one vote, there will be no accountability and no responsibility.
Quote 9 Democracy is a journey that every nation mindful of advancing the liberty of its citizens must undertake.
Quote 10 Nobody’s political ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian.
Quote 11 Our votes must count! One man, one vote! One woman, one vote! One youth, one vote!
Quote 12 Nobody should rig for me. I am assuring Nigerians that though I am contesting, nobody must manipulate votes in my favour. Our votes must count.
Quote 13 I congratulate the candidates of the other political parties. I regard them not as opponents but as partners.
Quote 14 In presenting myself for service, I make no pretense that I have a magic wand that will solve all of Nigeria’s problems or that I am the most intelligent Nigerian.
Quote 15 I have come to launch a campaign of ideas, not one of calumny. I have come to preach love, not hate. I have come to break you away from divisive tendencies of the past which have slowed our drive to true nationhood. I have no enemies to fight. You are all my friends and we share a common destiny.
Quote 16 Democracy calls for sacrifice and tolerance an open ear and a strong voice.
Quote 17 For the PDP family, the contest for party offices does not produce winners and losers.
Quote 18 I believe in the politics of give and take.
Quote 19 Separation of power is not separation of government.
Quote 20 We are all Nigerians and I will be a President to all. This is the new dawn we crave.
Quote 21 Our unity is firm, our purpose strong, our determination unshakable.
Quote 22 Being a Nigerian is a blessing (and) a great responsibility.
Quote 23 We have a duty to be loyal to our country.
Quote 24 If God did not will it we will not be Nigerians.
Quote 25 Our founding fathers… did not dream of a country where neighbours and friends would exchange bullets in place of handshakes.
Quote 26 I prefer to see the silver lining in the dark cloud rather than the dark cloud in the silver lining.
Quote 27 We may not have overcome our challenges, but neither have our challenges overcome us.
Quote 28 We are not sworn enemies… We are neighbours who sometimes offend each other, but can always sit down to talk over our differences.
Quote 29 Over-dependence on oil has put an unpleasant bracket in our national economic freedom.
Quote 30 Economic diplomacy does not need to be a zero-sum game where the gain of partner automatically translates to the loss of the other.
Quote 31 Peace and security are the barest irreducible conditions for social and economic development.
Quote 32 I am loyal to Nigeria’s economy. I don’t have accounts or property abroad. All my children live and school in Nigeria.
Quote 33 The time of lamentation is over. This is the era of transformation. This is the time for action.
Quote 34 Cynicism and scepticism will not help our journey to greatness. Let us all believe in a new Nigeria.
Quote 35 The goal of achieving positive macroeconomic stability is no end in itself.
Quote 36 I have no intention to inflict pain on Nigerians. To save Nigeria, we must all be prepared to make sacrifices.
Quote 37 While we may not have landed a spaceship on the moon or developed nuclear technology, our inventors and innovators have made globally acknowledged contributions.
Quote 38 Transformation in my view simply means taking what you have and making the best of it and in so doing produce results that can bring about a paradigm shift.
Quote 39 I want to assure Nigerians that crude oil is not our ‘Black Gold.’ The real ‘Black Gold’ of Nigeria are her people and they can grow in value from gold to diamond via education.
Quote 40 We must quickly move away from partisan battlegrounds and find the national common ground.
Quote 41 Let me put you on notice: the assignment of offices is not an allocation of privileges.
Quote 42 Nigeria is a nation of resilient people. We will never yield to the forces of darkness. Nigeria will never ever, disintegrate.
Quote 43 In my early days in school, I had no shoes, no school bags. I carried my books in my hands but never despaired; no car to take me to school, but I never despaired. There were days I had only one meal but I never despaired. I walked miles and crossed rivers to school every day, but I never despaired. Didn’t have power, didn’t have generators, studied with lanterns, but I never despaired. In spite of these, I finished secondary school attended the University of Port Harcourt and now hold a doctorate degree.
Quote 44 I was not born rich and in my youth, I never imagined that I would be where I am today, but not once did I ever give up.
Quote 45 As the most populous black nation on earth it seems our manifest destiny is to champion the cause of African emancipation and integration.
Quote 46 African renaissance remains an unfinished business, but the work that remains should not stop us from focusing on new priorities and challenges.
Quote 47 I am happy that the black man has put the shame of dispossession behind him and is moving on.
Quote 48 The dark patches in the Niger Delta will give way to light.
Quote 49 On the football field, nobody cares who scores for Nigeria. You can be a Musa or a Moses; you can be a Christopher or a Mustapha, nobody cares.
Quote 50 We have a duty to stand firm against those who threaten the sovereign integrity of the Nigerian state. Our will is strong, because our faith lies in the indivisibility of Nigeria.
Quote 51 Nigerians are peace-loving people; these sad events perpetrated by those who do not wish our nation well have not changed the essential character of our people.
Quote 52 No matter what it takes, we will win this war against terror.
Quote 53 Africa must declare an end to the era of self-inflicted wars and conflicts.
Quote 54 Africa must turn its begging bowls into baskets of prosperity and opportunity.
Quote 55 It is the supreme task of this generation to give hope to the hopeless strength to the weak and protection to the defenseless.
Quote 56 We must develop a democratic culture in which the will of the people will be treated as sacred and be immune to subversion by anti-democratic elements.
Quote 57 As we strive to advance our democratic development, there will be times when our will shall be tested, our patience provoked and our belief questioned.
Quote 58 The beauty of democracy is that its practice is never final and always has room for improvement no matter how old a democratic society may be. Where we falter we must not fall. When we are weak, we must not surrender.
Quote 59 If Africa can’t yet send men to the moon, we should at least organize elections that are free and fair, of which the whole world will be proud.