On the 25th of November, 1946, a child was born in Jada, then a small town in what is now Adamawa State, and that child grew up to be me Atiku Abubakarku. Though born into a humble background, I have been fortunate, and life had been a blessing to me. As an orphan without a father or siblings, and a very poor mother, I grew up alone, but have been blessed by divine providence. I was given an education, against the stern wishes of my father, and that education has prospered my life.
Over these past months interacting with this great generation of young Nigerians, one thing has shone though: you have a dream to push Nigeria to her full potential, and I say you have the right to dream for that better future for Nigeria. It is possible. We don’t often hear about the Nigerian dream, but I am evidence of the Nigerian Dream. I am evidence that a poor child can rise from very obscure beginnings to prosper in a rewarding career, retire to build an immensely prosperous business, and go on to occupy one of the highest offices in his country. That is my story.
A businessman and a former customs officer, Abubakar’s vast wealth has led his opponents to accuse him of using his position in government to enrich himself and to channel government funds and foreign investment towards his own companies.
After declaring in 2006 that he would be contesting the presidential elections, the country’s electoral commission attempted to block him from running, arguing that he was ineligible to stand as he had been indicted to stand trial on corruption charges.
However, Abubakar challenged that decision in court and in April the supreme court of Nigeria overturned the commission’s decision and reaffirmed his right to run for president.
Abubakar was born into relative poverty in north-eastern Nigeria. Orphaned at the age of eight, he studied medicine and then law before becoming a customs officer.
In 1999, he became Nigeria’s vice-president and oversaw the privatisation of dozens of state-owned firms.
His political opponents accused him of using this position to enrich himself. In 2005 he was investigated on suspicion of receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from US firms in return for promoting their goods in Nigeria.
He has four wives, some of whom are Christian, which had led many members of Nigeria’s Christian minority to see him as the presidential candidate most likely to protect them from Islamist groups which are becoming increasingly popular in many parts of Muslim-majority Nigeria.
Atiku Abubakar’s campaign to become president has been the subject of intense controversy and media interest after the government attempted to prevent him from standing as a canidate for the country’s main opposition party.
In November 2006, he announced he would run for president and a month later was chosen as the presidential candidate for the Action Congress, the main opposition party.
Atiku Abubakar’s decision to run for president came soon after he helped to prevent Olusegun Obasanjo, the president, from changing the constitution in order to run for a third term.
This political manouevring caused a rift between him and Obasanjo, formerly his long-term ally, and sparked an attempt by the ruling Popular Democratic Party and its allies to prevent him from running.
Other News: Atiku Abubakar Emerges PDP 2019 Presidential Candidate
At the end of the count of the votes at the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice President Atiku Abubakar polled 1,532 to clinch the ticket.
The Fulani-born Waziri of Adamawa, businessman and politician beat 11 other contestants to face another tribesman. With the win, Atiku Abubakar would have to face incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of APC and Mr Donald Duke of Social Democratic Party (SDP) and some others in the February 2019 presidential election.
He joined the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and sought the party’s ticket in 2014 but lost to President Muhammadu Buhari at the primary held in Lagos. Atiku Abubaker defected again in May to PDP where he on Sunday clinched the ticket to tackle incumbent President Buhari in the 2019 presidential election.
- Atiku Abubakar Biography and Profile