Complete Profile of Atiku Abubakar

Born in 1946, Atiku Abubakar, is a founding member of PDP. He served as Vice President to the President Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007.
Born to a Fulani trader and farmer Garba Abubakar in Jada village of Adamawa State, the PDP Presidential candidate became the only child of his parents when his only sister died at infancy.
Atiku’s father and mother divorced before his father died in 1957 and his mother remarried. Eventually, his mother died in 1984 of heart attack. Atiku Abubakar could not start school when he ought to because his father was opposed to him obtaining western education. When his not going to school was noticed, his father was arrested and jailed until he paid a fine.
Consequently, he got registered into Jada Primary School at the age of eight. After his primary school, he was admitted into Adamawa Provincial Secondary School, Yola in the year 1960. He later finished his Secondary school in 1965 after he made Grade Three in West African School Certificate Examination. He then proceeded to Nigerian Police College, Kaduna.
He left the college for a work as Tax Officer in the Regional Ministry of Finance. Later he got admission to study at the School of Hygiene Kano in 1966.
In 1967, he graduated with a Diploma. That same year, Atiku was admitted for a Law Diploma at Ahmadu Bello University on a scholarship. He graduated in 1969 and got employed in the Nigerian Custom Service that same year.
In April 1989, aged 43, Atiku voluntarily retired from Customs. At different times, Atiku engaged in different businesses, including real estate, agriculture, trading, buying and selling. Atiku’s business also includes a beverage manufacturing plant in Yola, as well as an animal feed factory.
At the end of his Custom service, Atiku Abubakar met Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, who had been second-in-command of the military government that ruled Nigeria between 1976 and 1979. He then started attending political meetings with Shehu Musa Yar’Adua every now and then.
In 1989, Atiku became the National Vice-Chairman of the Peoples Front of Nigeria, as such, he participated in the transition program initiated by Head of State Ibrahim Babangida. He was later elected to represent his constituency at the 1989 Constituent Assembly.
Atiku won the primary election to contest for the gubernatorial election under the platform of Social Democratic Party in 1991 but was disqualified by government from contesting the elections.
In 1992, the former Customs officer was to contest in a presidential election, but stepped down for MKO Abiola. In 1998 Atiku won election as the Governor of Adamawa State, but before his swearing-in, he was called by the PDP’s presidential candidate, Olusegun Obasanjo to be his running-mate. They eventually won the election on February 27, 1999, and Atiku became the vice president of Nigeria on May 29, 1999.
On December 20, 2006, Atiku Abubakar was chosen as the presidential candidate of the Action Congress (AC). After the election, he took third place, behind PDP candidate Umaru Yar’Adua and ANPP candidate Muhammadu Buhari, with approximately 7% of the vote (2.6 million votes).
In January 2011, Atiku contested for the Presidential ticket of People’s Democratic Party alongside President Jonathan and Sarah Jubril, and lost the primary.
On February 2, 2014, he left the Peoples Democratic Party and joined All Progressives Congress. Ten months later,  he contested for presidential ticket under the APC and lost to Muhammadu Buhari who emerged the party’s presidential flag bearer.
With his chance of securing the APC presidential ticket in the 2019 election slim, the septuagenarian returned to the PDP in December 2017 and few months later, declared his presidential ambition.
He has amassed a lot of political exposure having shown interest for the office of the president several times and having began showing interest for the top job since the botched Third Republic under the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Although, some of his close associates are still in the APC, it is believed that with his emergence as PDP presidential candidate, some of them will join him in the party any moment from now.
With a huge political structure across the country, Atiku also has a large financial war chest to fund his aspiration, a key requirement in Nigerian political clime.
However, he is perceived as being desperate to be president, which many pundits point to his defections from one party to another all in a bid to be on the ballot on election day.
Another issue is whether he can amass as much followership in the North as his main challenger, President Buhari, had defeated him in the 2014 APC presidential primary where he (Atiku)  emerged second runner-up. In the same vein, he yet to warm his way into the hearts of most of former generals across the country, particularly his former boss, Obasanjo, whom he felt out with in 2007.
Owede Agbaji

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