Atiku Abubakar is a Nigerian politician, businessman, and philanthropist who served as the Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. He was born on November 25, 1946, in Jada, Adamawa State, Nigeria. Atiku is a multi-talented individual, with interests spanning business, politics, education, and philanthropy.
Atiku Abubakar was born to Garba Abubakar and Aisha Kande, both of whom were Fulani. He was the only child of his parents who survived childhood, as his three siblings died at a young age. Atiku’s father was a farmer and trader who struggled to provide for the family, and this instilled in Atiku a strong work ethic from an early age.
Atiku received his primary education at Jada Primary School and later attended Adamawa Provincial Secondary School in Yola. He then proceeded to the Nigeria Police College in Kaduna, where he trained as a police officer. Atiku also attended Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, where he obtained a diploma in Law, and later obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the same institution.
Atiku Abubakar began his career as a tax officer in the Regional Ministry of Finance in the North-Eastern State. He then worked as a regional manager for the African Development Bank before venturing into business. Atiku founded several companies, including a logistics and oil services company, Intels Nigeria Limited, which has become one of the largest indigenous oil servicing companies in Nigeria.
In 1989, Atiku ventured into politics, joining the Social Democratic Party (SDP). He contested and won the gubernatorial primary election in the Gongola State, but the results were annulled by the military government. In 1993, he contested for the Presidential ticket of the SDP, but he lost to Moshood Abiola.
Atiku later joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and was selected as the running mate to Olusegun Obasanjo in the 1999 Presidential election. They won the election, and Atiku became the Vice President of Nigeria. Atiku was re-elected as Vice President in the 2003 Presidential election, serving in that capacity until 2007.
In 2007, Atiku contested for the Presidency under the Action Congress (AC) platform, but he lost to Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. He later returned to the PDP and contested for the Presidency in the 2011 Presidential election but lost to Goodluck Jonathan. Atiku also contested in the 2015 Presidential election under the All Progressives Congress (APC) platform but lost to Muhammadu Buhari in the party primaries. In 2023, he contested again in the 2023 general election as president under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and lost to his closest ally of Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Atiku Abubakar is a philanthropist who is passionate about education. He has sponsored the education of thousands of Nigerians, including orphans and less privileged children. Atiku established the American University of Nigeria in Yola, Adamawa State, which has become a center of excellence in education. He has also donated generously to several charitable organizations and causes.
Atiku Abubakar has received several awards and honors in recognition of his contributions to Nigeria and Africa. In 2003, he was awarded the National Honor of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) by President Olusegun Obasanjo. In 2007, he received the African Good Governance Award from the African Leadership Magazine in New York.
However, Atiku Abubakar has been involved in several controversies throughout his career. In 2005, he was investigated by the United States Senate for allegedly receiving kickbacks from a Nigerian businessman, William Jefferson.