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2023: Profile of Atiku Abubakar, PDP presidential candidate

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar was born on Nov. 25 , 1946 to Garba Abubakar and Aisha Kande in Jada village of Adamawa. His only sister died at a young age and that made him the only child of his parents. At a young age, Abubakar lost his father to an accident at a neighboring village in 1957.

At the time, Abubakar’s father did not believe in modern education, so he stopped his son from attending the compulsory traditional school. However, when the government discovered Garba Abubakar’s action, he was jailed for few days before his mother-in-law was able to pay for his bail. Afterwards, Abubakar started his primary education at Jada Primary School, Adamawa at the age of eight.

Thereafter, in 1960, he proceeded to Adamawa provincial secondary school for his secondary education. He graduated in 1965 and enrolled in Nigerian Police College, Kaduna. Shortly after, he left the college to take on the position of tax official at Regional Ministry of Finance. Also, in 1966, he gained admission into the school of Hygiene, Kano and graduated with a diploma in 1967.

In the same year, Abubakar proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University on scholarship. There, he graduated with a diploma in law in 1969 and immediately got employed with Nigeria Customs Service.

In 1989, Abubakar was selected to represent his constituency at the constituent assembly, set up to form a new constitution for Nigeria.

In September 1990, Abubakar joined the governorship race for the former Gongola state. However, in 1991 before the election could hold, the Federal Government divided Gongola into two – Adamawa and Taraba. Abubakar fell into Adamawa.

Although, he won the Social Democratic Party (SDP) primaries in November 1991 but was disqualified from contesting in the election.

In 1998, he contested as the governor of Adamawa on Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform and won. However, before his swearing-in, he accepted to be the running mate of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Abubakar was thereafter sworn in as the Vice-President of Nigeria on May 29, 1999.

Since his joining politics, Abubakar has unsuccessfully contested five times for the office of President of Nigeria. He did that in 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019.

In 1993, he contested the (SDP) presidential primaries losing to late Moshood Abiola and Baba Gana Kingibe. He was a presidential candidate of the Action Congress (AC) in the 2007 presidential election coming in third to late Umaru Yar’Adua of the PDP and Muhammadu Buhari of the ANPP. He contested the presidential primaries of the PDP during the 2011 presidential election losing out to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

In 2014, he joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the 2015 presidential election and contested the presidential primaries losing to Muhammadu Buhari. In 2017, he returned to the PDP and was the presidential candidate for the 2019 election, which he lost to Buhari.

Abubakar Atiku (right) receives PDP certificate of return from the party’s chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu

On May 27, Abubakar won the PDP presidential ticket for 2023 general elections, after polling 371 out of the 767 accredited votes to defeat his closest rival, Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers who polled 237 votes.

Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, came a distant third with 70 votes. While former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, scored 14 votes, Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi got 20 votes, while Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom scored 38 votes.

Dele Momodu and Ayo Fayose, Charles Ugwu, and Chikwendu Kalu scored zero votes each, while Tarella Diana and Sam Ohuabunwa each received one vote each.

Abubakar is married to four wives and is blessed with 28 children.


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