Atiku Abubakar: The 11th Vice President of Nigeria
GCON Atiku Abubakar (born November 25, 1946) is a Nigerian politician and businessman who served as Nigeria’s Vice President from 1999 to 2007 under Olusegun Obasanjo’s presidency. In 1990, 1997, and 1998, he stood for Governor of Adamawa State and was elected, before becoming Olusegun Obasanjo’s running mate in the 1999 presidential election and being re-elected in 2003.
Since entering politics in 1993, Atiku Abubakar has run for President of Nigeria five times, unsuccessfully in 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019. He ran for the presidency of the Social Democratic Party in 1993 but lost to Moshood Abiola and Baba Gana Kingibe.
In the 2007 presidential election, he ran for the Action Congress and finished third behind Umaru Yar’Adua of the PDP and Muhammadu Buhari of the ANPP.
During the 2011 presidential election, he ran in the People’s Democratic Party presidential primaries but was defeated by incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.
He joined the All Progressives Congress in 2014, ahead of the 2015 presidential election, and ran for president, losing to Muhammadu Buhari in the primaries.
He rejoined the Peoples Democratic Party in 2017 and ran as the party’s presidential candidate in the 2019 election, losing to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari once more.
In May 2022, he was chosen as the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in Nigeria’s 2023 election.
Atiku Abubakar’s father was hostile to Western education and tried to keep him out of the traditional school system. When the authorities learned that Abubakar was not attending mandatory schooling, his father was arrested and imprisoned for a few days until Aisha Kande’s mother paid the fee.
Abubakar started school at the Jada Primary School in Adamawa when he was eight years old.
He was admitted to Adamawa Provincial Secondary School in 1960, alongside 59 other pupils, after finishing his primary school studies. He earned a grade three in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination and graduated from secondary school in 1965.
Following secondary school, Abubakar attended the Nigeria Police College in Kaduna for a brief while. When he was unable to show an O-Level Mathematics result, he left the College and worked for a short time as a Tax Officer in the Regional Ministry of Finance, from where he was admitted to Kano’s School of Hygiene in 1966.
In 1967, he received his diploma after serving as Interim Student Union President at the institution. On a regional government scholarship, he enrolled in the Ahmadu Bello University Institute of Administration for a Law Diploma in 1967.
During the Nigerian Civil War, he worked for the Nigeria Customs Service after graduating in 1969. In 2021, Abubakar successfully completed and passed his Master’s degree in International Relations at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Atiku Political Career [Brief]
Abubakar’s first excursion into politics was in the early 1980s, when he assisted Bamanga Tukur, the managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority at the time, with his governorship campaign. He canvassed for votes on Tukur’s behalf and contributed to the campaign.
He met General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, who had served as second-in-command Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters between 1976 and 1979, near the end of his Customs career.
Yar’Adua drew Abubakar into the political discussions that were now taking place on a regular basis in Yar’Adua’s Lagos home, giving birth to the Peoples Front of Nigeria (PFN). Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Baba Gana Kingibe, Bola Tinubu, Sabo Bakin Zuwo, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila, and Abubakar Koko were among the PFN’s members.
Abubakar launched his candidacy for governor of Gongola State on September 1, 1990. The Federal Government split Gongola State into two states, Adamawa and Taraba, a year later, before the elections could be held.
Abubakar was born in the newly formed Adamawa State. He won the SDP Primaries in November 1991 after the contest, but the government quickly barred him from running in the elections.
Abubakar ran for president of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1993. After the first ballot in the Jos primaries, Moshood Abiola received 3,617 votes, Baba Gana Kingibe received 3,255 votes, and Abubakar received 2,066 votes.
Abubakar and Kingibe discussed teaming together to fight Abiola with a total of 5,231 votes.
Shehu Yar’Adua, on the other hand, urged Atiku Abubakar to drop out of the campaign after Abiola promised to make him his running partner.
SDP governors later persuaded Abiola to choose Kinigbe as his vice-presidential running mate in the presidential election on June 12.
Vice President of Nigeria
Abubakar was sworn in as Vice President of Nigeria on May 29, 1999. His first tenure was defined by his function as Chairman of the National Economic Council and head of the National Council on Privatization, where he and Nasir El Rufai oversaw the sale of hundreds of loss-making and badly managed government firms.
President Obasanjo and Abubakar had a tumultuous relationship during Abubakar’s second stint as vice president. In 2006, Abubakar had a public spat with his boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo, reportedly over the latter’s attempt to modify key articles of the constitution in order to run for president again (Third Term Agenda).
Titles and honors
Abubakar was bestowed the Turaki of Adamawa chieftaincy title by his future father-in-law, Adamawa’s traditional ruler Alhaji Aliyu Mustafa, in 1982.
Because the bearer is in charge of the monarch’s household affairs, the title was historically reserved for the monarch’s favorite prince in the palace.
Abubakar gave his son Aliyu the chieftaincy title of Waziri of Adamawa in June 2017, and his former title of Turaki was passed to him.
In 2011, the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) – an independent 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that serves as an alumni association for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers – honored Abubakar with the Harris Wofford Global Citizen Award as part of the US Peace Corps’ 50th-anniversary celebrations.
At the presentation of the award, the National Peace Corps Association described Abubakar as one individual who contributed to the development of higher education on the continent of Africa. “No private businessman in Africa has worked harder for democracy or contributed more to the progress of higher education than Atiku Abubakar,” the NPCA said.
This came after Abubakar donated $750,000 to the National Peace Corps Association in the United States in 2012 “to sponsor a new effort featuring global leaders who would explore the impact of the Peace Corps.” It was the Association’s largest single donation in its history. Read More…