Alhaji Atiku Abubakar GCON, a Nigerian politician and businessman, was born on November 25, 1946, to Garba Abubakar and Aisha Kande in the British Cameroons village of Jada (now Jada, Adamawa state).
He was named after his grandfather, Atiku Abdulqadir, and he became the only child of his parents when his only sister died as a baby. In 1957, his father died by drowning in a neighboring village.
At age eight, he started primary education at Jada primary school, where he graduated in 1960. He then went ahead to attend Adamawa Provincial Secondary School. He left in 1965 after passing grade three in the West African Senior School Certificate examination.
In post-secondary school, Atiku Abubakar studied for a short while at the Nigeria Police College, Kaduna, from where he moved on to the school of hygiene, Kano, in 1966.
In 1967, he graduated with a diploma from the school as interim student union president, then went ahead to enroll for a law diploma at Ahmadu Bello University’s Institute of Administration as a scholarship student, where he graduated in 1969.
In 2021, he successfully completed and passed his Master’s degree in international relations at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Atiku Abubakar’s Business Ventures
Before going into politics, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar held various work positions and started a few business ventures. He worked with the Nigeria Customs Service, where he rose to the position of Deputy Director, which was the highest position attainable for almost twenty years.
In 1974, he took a loan of $31,000 to start a real estate business in Yola. In 1981, he started a maize and cotton farm on 25,000 hectares of land near Yola. He also owns a transportation business.
Atiku Abubakar’s Vice Presidential Journey
On the 29th day of May 1999, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was sworn in as Vice President of Nigeria. His first term as Vice President was mainly characterized by his role as Chairman of the National Economic Commission and the head of the National Commission on Privatization, where he oversaw the sale of public enterprises alongside El-Rufai.
His tenure as Vice President lasted from 1999–2007, with General Olusegun Obasanjo as President. In 2006, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was involved in a public battle with his boss and then-president, General Olusegun Obasanjo, over Obasanjo’s bid to adjust certain parts of the constitution to take another shot at the presidency.
Post-Vice Presidential Journey
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has been consistently contesting for the post of President of Nigeria, both before and after his tenure as Vice President of the country. In 2007, he contested for the presidential post under the Action Congress political party but lost to the People’s Democratic Party candidate, Umar Musa Yar’adua.
In 2019, he was the presidential candidate for the People’s Democratic Party, with Peter Obi as his vice presidential nominee. He lost the election to the All Progressive Congress candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari.
He has since shown interest in contesting for the 2023 presidential nomination under the umbrella of the People’s Democratic Party, with Ifeanyi Okowa as his vice presidential candidate.