Atiku Abubakar Biography Latest Update,
Atiku Abubakar was the 11th Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. He is a politician, business owner, and philanthropist. In 2019, he ran for president of Nigeria as a candidate for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), but he lost to Muhammadu Buhari, who was running for the party that was already in power.
Atiku Abubakar GCON was born in Jada, Adamawa State, on 25 November 1946 to Garba Abubakar and Aisha Kande. His sister died early, leaving him as his parents’ lone child. Abubakar’s father drowned in a nearby hamlet while he was young.
His father rejected Western education and wanted him to attend traditional school. Abubakar’s father was jailed for a few days because of that, until Aisha Kande’s mother paid the fine. Abubakar started school in Adamawa at age 8.
After finishing primary school in 1960, he joined 59 other pupils in Adamawa Provincial Secondary School. He graduated from secondary school in 1965 after making 3 grades on the WASSCE.
Abubakar attended Nigeria Police College in Kaduna after secondary school. He left the College because he couldn’t submit an O-Level Mathematics result and worked as a Tax Officer in the Regional Ministry of Finance until enrolling at the Kano School of Hygiene in 1966. He graduated in 1967 as Interim Student Union President.
On a government grant, he studied law at Ahmadu Bello University Institute of Administration in 1967. He joined the Nigeria Customs Service in 1969, during the Nigerian Civil War.
Abubakar served in the Nigeria Customs Service for 20 years, rising to Deputy Director; he left in April 1989 and moved into business and politics full-time. As a Customs Officer, he got into real estate.
Abubakar has 28 children from four spouses. He secretly married Titilayo Albert, 19, in Idi-Iroko in December 1971. Fatima, Adamu, Halima, and Aminu are Titilayo’s children.
In 1979, he married Ladi Yakubu. Atiku, Abba, Zainab, Ummi-Hauwa, Maryam, and Rukaiyatu are Ladi’s children.
He married Princess Rukaiyatu, late Lamido of Adamawa’s daughter, in 1983. Aisha, Hadiza, Aliyu, Asmau, Mustafa, Laila, and Abdulsalam are Princess Rukaiyatu’s children.
He wed Fatima Shettima in 1986. She has Amina, Mohammed, Ahmed and Shehu, Zainab and Aisha, and Hafsat.
After he divorced Ladi Yakubu, Atiku married a lawyer, Jennifer Iwenjiora Doughlas.
In 1974, he secured a loan to construct a rental property in Yola. He constructed a second residence using rent money. He built a large property portfolio in Yola, Nigeria.
In 1981, he began farming maize and cotton on 2,500 hectares near Yola. In 1986, the company closed. “My first attempt at farming in the 1980s failed,” he wrote in April 2014. He started trading rice, wheat, and sugar. In April 1989, he retired and entered business and politics full-time.
Abubakar’s best business move was as an Apapa Ports Customs Officer. Gabrielle Volpi, an Italian businessman in Nigeria, asked him to start Nigeria Container Services (NICOTES).
Atiku’s other businesses are in Yola, Adamawa, and include Adama Beverages Limited, an animal feed mill, and the American Institution of Nigeria (AUN), the first American-style private university in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Abubakar initially entered politics in the 1980s, when he worked on Bamanga Tukur’s gubernatorial campaign. He campaigned for Tukur and provided money.
He met General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, second-in-command Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, at the conclusion of his Customs career. Yar’Adua invited Abubakar to political discussions in his Lagos home, which led to the Peoples Front of Nigeria (PFN).
Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Baba Gana Kingibe, Bola Tinubu, Sabo Bakin Zuwo, Rabiu Kwankwaso, and Abdullah Aliyu Sumaila were PFN members.
Abubakar was elected National Vice-Chairman of the Peoples Front of Nigeria in 1989. Abubakar was elected to represent his district in Nigeria’s 1989 Constituent Assembly.
The military administration refused to register the People’s Front, thus it united with the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Abubakar ran for governor of Gongola State in 1990. A year later, before elections, the Federal Government split Gongola State into Adamawa and Taraba. Abubakar moved to Adamawa. He won the SDP primaries in November 1991, but the government disqualified him shortly after.
Abubakar ran in 1933’s SDP primaries. Moshood Abiola received 3,617 votes, Baba Gana Kingibe 3,255 votes, and Abubakar 2,066 votes in Jos. Abubakar and Kingibe combined 5,231 votes to challenge Abiola.
Shehu Yar’Adua urged Atiku Abubakar to withdraw, and Abiola promised to be his running partner. SDP governors encouraged Abiola to choose Kinigbe as his running partner in the June 12 election.
After June 12 and during General Sani Abacha’s transition, Abubakar indicated interest in running for governor of Adamawa State under the United Nigeria Congress Party. General Abacha’s death ended the transition program.
In 1998, Abubakar joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and later secured nomination for Governor of Adamawa State, winning the December 1998 governorship elections. Before he could be sworn in, he accepted a position as the PDP presidential candidate, General Olusegun Obasanjo, who went on to win the 1999 presidential election ushering in the Fourth Nigerian Republic.
Abubakar became Nigeria’s vice president on May 29, 1999. In his first tenure, he was Chairman of the National Economic Council and chairman of the National Council for Privatization, managing the sale of hundreds of loss-making and poorly managed state firms with Nasir El Rufai.
During Abubakar’s second stint as vice president, he and Obasanjo clashed. In 2006, Abubakar fought publicly with President Olusegun Obasanjo over the latter’s ambition to change the constitution to run again (Third Term Agenda).
The unsuccessful constitutional amendment provoked a divide in the PDP. The National Assembly blocked Obasanjo’s reelection.
Abubakar lost out with Olusegun Obasanjo in 2006 and quit the PDP for the ACN ahead of the 2007 elections.
Abubakar rejoined the PDP after the 2007 elections. He declared his candidacy in October 2010.
On November 22, a Committee of Northern Elders chose him over former Military President Ibrahim Babangida, former National Security Adviser Aliyu Gusau, and Kwara State Governor Bukola Saraki.
In January 2011, Abubakar ran for his party’s presidential nomination against President Jonathan and Sarah Jubril. He lost the primary with 805 votes to Jonathan’s 2736.
In a November 2013 interview, Abubakar said Obasanjo told him, “I left power twenty years ago, I left Mubarak in office, I left Mugabe in office, I left Eyadema in office, I left Umar Bongo, and even Paul Biya and I came back and they are still in power; and I just did eight years and you are asking me to go; why?” I told him, “Nigeria is not Libya, Egypt, Cameroon, or Togo; you must go, even if we both lose.”
On 30 March 2014, Nigerian media claimed that a team from the Northern Youth Leaders Forum visited Obasanjo at his house in Abeokuta and asked with him to “forgive your former vice-president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of whatever political fault or crime he may have perpetrated against you.” Obasanjo said, “As a leader and parent, I have forgiven everyone.
INEC registered two new parties in August 2013. PDM was one. Local media reports said Abubakar founded the party as a backup plan in case he couldn’t run for president on the PDP platform. Abubakar said that his “political allies” established the PDM, but he remained a PDP member.
Atiku Abubakar has run for Nigeria’s presidency six times since 1993, in 1993, 1998, 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019. In 1993, he lost the SDP primaries against Moshood Abiola and Baba Gana Kingibe. The campaign for the 2023 presidential elections marks the seventh time he will be running.
In 1998, he ran for president, but General Sani Abacha ordered all five major parties to support him.
He was the Action Congress’s 2007 presidential candidate, finishing third behind Umaru Yar’Adua of the PDP and Muhammadu Buhari of the ANPP. He lost the PDP presidential primaries to incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011.
Abubakar declared his candidacy on November 25, 2006. On 20 December 2006, he was named Action Congress’s presidential candidate (AC). INEC issued the final list of 24 presidential candidates on March 14. Abubakar didn’t vote.
INEC said Abubakar’s name was absent because he was accused for corruption by a government tribunal. Abubakar sued to reverse his disqualification on March 16.
On 16 April, the Supreme Court declared that INEC couldn’t dismiss candidates. The verdict permitted Abubakar to run, although ballots bearing his name may not be ready by April 21, the election date. INEC confirmed Abubakar’s candidacy on April 17.
Abubakar placed third, behind Umaru Yar’Adua and Muhammadu Buhari, with 7% of the vote (2.6 million votes). Abubakar labeled it Nigeria’s “worst election ever” and demanded its annulment. He said he wouldn’t attend Umaru Yar’Adua’s inauguration on 29 May since the election wasn’t genuine. He didn’t want to “dignify such a meaningless ceremonial with my participation.”
Abubakar quit the People’s Democratic Party on 2 February 2014 and founded the All Progressives Congress to run for president in 2015. Muhammadu Buhari received 3,430 votes, Rabiu Kwankwaso 974, Atiku Abubakar 954, Rochas Okorocha 400, and Sam Nda-Isiah 10 in the APC presidential primary in Lagos.
In 2018, Abubakar ran for president and won the PDP nomination in Port Harcourt on 7 October. He won 1,532 votes, 839 more than Sokoto Governor Aminu Tambuwal.
Atiku Abubakar vowed to finish abandoned projects in Kogi State. He also visited the Emir of Daura in Katsina on 7 February 2019. However, Atiku defeated to President Muhammadu Buhari by almost 3 million votes on Feb. 27. The appellants called the election “the worst in Nigeria’s democratic history.”
Since then, conflict of interest claims have followed him due to his business activity as a supervisory federal worker. Abubakar has justified the choice, stating his engagement was restricted to share ownership (which government laws allowed) and he wasn’t engaged in day-to-day commercial operations.
His firm NICOTES was renamed INTELS and featured extensively in U.S. money laundering claims against Abubakar during his vice presidency.