For many years, former president Goodluck Jonathan has been hiding the truth about his net worth. Has he finally given in and shared his secret? Or is he still keeping his mouth shut? Find out here, as we talk about Goodluck Jonathan net worth and the many controversies around it.
As you know, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is the former President of Nigeria. He served from 2011 until 2015. Before that, he used to be the Vice President under President Umaru Yar’Adua (2007-2010) and also the acting president after Yar’Adua’s death (2010-2011). As many other Nigerian presidents, he is known for both his good and bad deeds, but we are here only to talk about his net worth.
If you are looking for a short answer to the question we raise in the title, then it is a resounding ‘no’. However, if you want to figure out why it is so, continue reading and find out.
Why is the story behind Goodluck Jonathan’s net worth so complicated?
The thing is, in all of the years of his political career, Goodluck Jonathan has publicly declared his assets only once, and that was before his presidency. In 2007, when President Yar’Adua announced his net worth, Jonathan followed suit and did the same. According to him, all of his assets were worth precisely ₦295,304,420.
Since then, he has never shared the information about his assets with the public. Even when he was sworn into office back in 2011, Jonathan did not say a word about his net worth, which caused a public outrage. However, the Code of Conduct Bureau defended the president’s right to stay silent about his wealth. They claimed that he regularly declared his assents and had been doing so since 1999, as he entered the Nigerian politics.
According to the Bureau, the then-president had no personal income ever since 1999. All he earned was the official remuneration for his occupied position.
This secrecy of Jonathan raised questions among the people. What did he have to hide? Many sources speculated on the topic of his net worth, which elicited no response from the former president. Until one moment, he just exploded.
The scandal around the net worth of Jonathan Goodluck
Things got really heated in 2014, when a certain website that should not be named posted about Jonathan’s net worth. They made a list of the richest presidents in Africa, where Goodluck Jonathan was placed sixth with the net worth of $100 million.
The former president was outraged by these claims. In his opinion, the article made him look corrupt and it was not based on any facts. He demanded for the article to be taken down and that those responsible for writing it apologised to him. Jonathan even threatened to sue the website if they refused to comply with his demands.
The original article is no longer there, but we have no clue whether the author(s) apologised before Goodluck Jonathan or not. Nevertheless, it is the Internet we are talking about, and the article was not gone for too long before resurfacing on the dozen copycat websites.
Other speculations about Jonathan’s net worth
In the absence of legitimate information from the source (i.e. Goodluck Jonathan), people started to come up with their own theories.
For instance, journalists at SaharaReporters did some calculations using the worth of the assets Jonathan had declared in 2007. According to them, what was then worth ₦295,304,420 would have been worth ₦1,476,522,100 in 2014 (the year the article was posted). By also adding his earnings as Vice president, acting president and president, they estimated that his net worth was almost 21 billion naira. In 2014, this was around $127 million.
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If you want to see the full (and quite lengthy) breakdown of Jonathan’s net worth that they have done, click here. Remember that the article was published in 2014, and the naira to USD rate was different back then (think 164 naira for 1 dollar). That is why some numbers might not make sense at first sight.
However, $127 million, this is not even the most outrageous number. The website by the name of Constative.com claims that Goodluck Jonathan is currently worth over $500 million. We wonder why the former president has not reacted to this claim yet.
So why is the Goodluck Jonathan so secretive about his assets? Let’s talk about it.
Former president Jonathan’s stance on sharing his net worth
Goodluck Jonathan has always been very vocal about the topic of sharing any information concerning his wealth. On numerous occasions, he condemned people’s desire to know how much government officials had. Jonathan claimed that it should be up to the official to decide whether to make their assets a public knowledge or not.
Even during the times of his vice-presidency, he vehemently tried to talk Yar’Adua out of sharing his assets publicly. He thought that it was the wrong decision, but the president did not listen to him, which is why Jonathan was forced to publicly declare his assets along with Yar’Adua.
When asked about why he was so strongly against sharing information about his assets, he said that it was his personal principle. He believed that, while public officers had to declare their assets to the relevant authorities, they were not obligated to share them with anyone else. If there were any problems with the assets, they would be investigated and dealt with, but the public did not have to be involved.
Goodluck Jonathan believed (and probably still does) that the country’s economy would not be changed just because someone had or had not declared their assets. In his opinion, government officials’ net worth should be the last thing people had to worry about.
From what we can tell, it is not very likely that Goodluck Jonathan will open up to the public about his net worth. Unless he is forced to do so, he will take his secret to his grave. However, if there are any developments on this subject, we will make sure to tell you all about it.
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