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Melton Fellow meets former President of Nigeria


Global leaders are instrumental in the developmental processes of their countries. As a proud citizen of Nigeria, I had always wished for an opportunity to speak with President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. My curiosity as a global citizen coupled with my interest in understanding the day-to-day runnings of the presidency of a country  sparked my  interest to speak with Dr. Jonathan at the Presidential Precinct event at the University of Virginia.

Although his government did not attain all that was promised, it was a pleasure to meet the former President of Nigeria. About a year ago, I wish I’d had the opportunity to speak with him during his tenure to express my views. But I was finally able to speak with him and hear his side of the story.

Dr. Jonathan did not avoid the tough controversial questions. As Nigeria has been faced with several issues such as the insurgence of the Boko Haram sector, the former president made it clear that terrorism is not only pertinent to Nigeria and should be tackled by the global community. When questioned about the anti-homosexuality act, Dr. Jonathan replied that 100% of the legislative body supported the passing of the bill into law which is over the 66.7% requirement. He also emphasized the fact that no one has been punished as a result of this bill.

Speaking to Dr. Goodluck about my interest in becoming the Nigerian Minister of Finance, I was inspired and encouraged to keep working hard in order to achieve my goal.

My conversation with the former President of Nigeria was made possible by Presidential Precinct Board, who invited Dr. Jonathan to applaud him for his commitment towards ensuring democracy. In fact, the former governor of Virginia referred to Dr. Jonathan as the “Hero of Democracy” because of his ability to ensure a smooth and credible election in Nigeria.

In conclusion, as a global citizen, it was quite fulfilling to meet President Jonathan, hear his side of the story and learn from him. As a result, I plan on meeting and speaking with other global leaders to learn about their experiences and continually grow as a global citizen.