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Who is Atiku Abubakar? Meet Prominent Nigerian Politician Who Has Run For President Six Times

Atiku Abubakar is a politician and businessman from Nigeria. During Olusegun Obasanjo's presidency, he was Nigeria's vice president from 1999 to 2007. He was born in Jada, British Cameroon, which is now in Nigeria's Adamawa State, on November 25, 1946. Once elected, he served as Olusegun Obasanjo's running mate in the 1999 presidential election and was re-elected in 2003. He first ran for governor of Adamawa State in 1990, 1997, and 1998.

Key Facts About Atiku Abubakar

  • He is a Nigerian businessman and politician.
  • He was born on November 25, 1946, in Jada, British Cameroon.
  • He has four wives and 28 children.
  • He and his wife were listed as suspects in a worldwide bribery scheme.
  • His parents were Fulani merchant and farmer, Garba and Aisha Kande.
  • He got a Master of International Relations from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK, in 2021.
  • He is from the Fulani tribe in Nigeria’s northeast.
  • He was appointed Vice President of Nigeria on May 29, 1999.
  • He unsuccessfully ran for a Nigerian president in 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019.
  • He is worth $1.8 billion in total assets.

Who is Atiku Abubakar?

Atiku Abubakar is a politician and businessman from Nigeria. During Olusegun Obasanjo’s presidency, he was Nigeria’s vice president from 1999 to 2007. He was born in Jada, British Cameroon, which is now in Nigeria’s Adamawa State, on November 25, 1946. Once elected, he served as Olusegun Obasanjo’s running mate in the 1999 presidential election and was re-elected in 2003. He first ran for governor of Adamawa State in 1990, 1997, and 1998.

Atiku Abubakar has run for president of Nigeria five times (in 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019) without success. He ran for the presidency of the Social Democratic Party in 1993 but lost in the primaries to Moshood Abiola and Baba Gana Kingibe. In the 2007 presidential election, he ran as the Action Congress’s nominee and finished third, behind Umaru Yar’Adua of the PDP and Muhammadu Buhari of the ANPP. Atiku Abubakar ran for president as a candidate for the People’s Democratic Party in the election in 2011. He was unsuccessful and lost to the incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan.

Atiku Abubakar, in preparation for the 2015 presidential election, joined the All Progressives Congress in 2014 and ran for the party’s nomination for president, where he ultimately came in second place to Muhammadu Buhari. He rejoined the People’s Democratic Party in 2017 and ran for president as the party’s nominee in the upcoming 2019 election, but he was defeated again by President Muhammadu Buhari. After a primary election in May 2022, in which he defeated the incumbent governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, he was selected as the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate for president in the 2023 general election.

Atiku Abubakar is married to four women and has 28 children. Atiku Abubakar married Titilayo Albert in a clandestine ceremony in Lagos in 1971. This was necessary because Titilayo’s family was initially opposed to the relationship. Fatima, Adamu, Halima, and Aminu are his children with her. His second wife, Ladi Yakubu, joined him in matrimony in 1979. Abba, Atiku, Zainab, Ummi-Hauwa, Maryam, and Rukaiyatu are his six children with Ladi. Atiku Abubakar later got a divorce from Ladi, which let him marry Jennifer Iwenjiora Douglas as his fourth wife. Princess Rukaiyatu, daughter of the Lamido of Adamawa, Aliyu Mustafa, became his third wife in 1983. The wedding took place in Adamawa. Her offspring include Aisha, Hadiza, Aliyu, Asmau, Mustafa, Laila, and Abdulsalam. Fatima Shettima became his fourth wife in 1986. Amina (Meena), Mohammed, Ahmed/Shehu, Zainab/Aisha, Hafsat, and the twins Zainab/Aisha are her children. Jennifer Douglas issued a statement on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, confirming her separation from Atiku Abubakar. She claims that long-standing conflicts, including their differences over her decision to remain in the United Kingdom, led to the end of their marriage.

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Atiku Abubakar, his wife Jennifer Atiku Abubakar, and William Jefferson were all named suspects in a global bribery scam. In January 2017, when commentators spread rumors that Atiku Abubakar couldn’t visit the US, the US government issued a statement saying it would need the politician’s approval to divulge the actual state of his immigration status to the US. According to Atiku Abubakar, the real reason is that his visa is still being processed. But recently, on January 17, 2019, Atiku Abubakar and Bukola Saraki traveled to the United States with the help of Brian Ballard. In October of 2022, he traveled to the USA as well.

Alhaji Aliyu Mustafa, the traditional ruler of Adamawa, bestowed the chieftaincy title of Turaki upon his future son-in-law Atiku Abubakar in 1982. Traditionally, only the monarch’s favorite prince could hold this position, as he would be in charge of the monarchy’s household. In June 2017, Atiku Abubakar was elevated to the rank of Waziri of Adamawa, while his son Aliyu Abubakar was given his father’s former title of Turaki. Atiku Abubakar was awarded the Harris Wofford Global Citizen Award in 2011 as part of celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the United States Peace Corps. The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is separate from the Peace Corps and serves as an alum association for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. When describing Atiku Abubakar’s accomplishments, the National Peace Corps Association said he was “one individual” who helped advance Africa’s higher education.

Atiku Abubakar Early Life

Atiku Abubakar was born on November 25, 1946, in the village of Jada, which at the time was a part of the region that British Cameroons governed. This territory eventually became a part of the Federation of Nigeria due to a referendum held in 1961 in the British Cameroons.

Atiku Abubakar was born to a Fulani merchant and farmer Garba and Aisha Kande. His maternal grandpa, Inuwa Dutse, moved to Jada, Adamawa State, from Dutse, Jigawa State; his paternal grandfather, Atiku Abdulqadir, was from Wurno, Sokoto State; and he was the only child of his parents after the death of his sister when she was a baby. His father drowned in 1957 while trying to cross a river to the neighboring town of Toungo from Jada.

Atiku Abubakar Education

Atiku Abubakar’s father was hostile to Western education and wanted to keep him out of the traditional school system. The authorities imprisoned Atiku Abubakar’s father until Aisha Kande’s mother paid the punishment. Adamawa’s Jada Primary School accepted eight-year-old Atiku Abubakar. After graduating from primary school in 1960, he joined 59 other pupils at Adamawa Provincial Secondary School. He graduated from secondary school in 1965 after scoring grade three on the West African Senior School Certificate Examination.

Atiku Abubakar briefly attended the Nigeria Police College in Kaduna after secondary school. He left the College when he failed his O-Level Mathematics exam and worked as a tax officer in the Regional Ministry of Finance until enrolling in Kano’s School of Hygiene in 1966. He received a scholarship from the regional government to study law at Ahmadu Bello University Institute of Administration in 1967. Atiku Abubakar earned a Master of International Relations from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK, in 2021.

Atiku Abubakar Career

Atiku Abubakar spent twenty years in the Nigeria Customs Service, rising through the ranks to become the Deputy Director (the second-highest position at the time). He left in April 1989 to focus full-time on his business and political careers. He started in real estate as a Customs Officer. He sought and was granted a loan of 31,000 naira in 1974 and used the money to construct and rent out his first home in Yola. He bought another site and erected another house with rent. He built a large Yola, Nigeria property portfolio this way. He began farming maize and cotton on 2,500 hectares near Yola in 1981. The firm failed in 1986. In a blog post dated April 2014, he reflected on his failed attempt at farming in the 1980s. He began exchanging rice, wheat, and sugar truckloads. Atiku Abubakar’s most significant business move was as a Customs Officer at Apapa Ports. Gabrielle Volpi, an Italian businessman in Nigeria, asked him to start a logistics company called Nigeria Container Services (NICOTES) that would work in the Ports. NICOTES became Intels Nigeria Limited and enriched Atiku Abubakar. Atiku Abubakar helped found Intels Nigeria Limited, a multinational oil services company with a strong presence in Nigeria. Atiku Abubakar’s other businesses in Yola, Adamawa, include Adama Beverages Limited, an animal feed factory, and the first American-style private university in Sub-Saharan Africa, the American University of Nigeria (AUN). He retired from the Nigeria Customs Service and went into business and politics in April 1989. His business involvement as a civil servant with supervisory authority has led to accusations of conflict of interest. Atiku Abubakar, for his part, has defended the decision by saying that his involvement was limited to owning shares (which government rules allowed) and that he did not help run the business on a day-to-day basis.

Atiku Abubakar entered politics in the 1980s when he assisted Bamanga Tukur, then the head of the Nigeria Ports Authority, with his bid for governor. He donated and campaigned for Bamanga Tukur. He met General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, Supreme Headquarters’ second-in-command Chief of Staff, between 1976 and 1979, at the end of his Customs career. The People’s Front of Nigeria was founded when Shehu Yar’Adua invited Atiku Abubakar to his Lagos home for political meetings. The People’s Front included Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Baba Gana Kingibe, Bola Tinubu, Sabo Bakin Zuwo, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila, and Atiku Abubakar Koko. Atiku Abubakar represented his constituency in the 1989 Constituent Assembly, which drafted a new Nigerian constitution. The military government rejected all applications, including the People’s Front, which merged with the government-created Social Democratic Party (SDP). Atiku Abubakar ran for Gongola State governor on September 1, 1990. The Federal Government split Gongola into Adamawa and Taraba States a year before the elections. Atiku Abubakar ended up in the new state of Adamawa. He won the SDP Primaries in November 1991, but the government disqualified him from running. Atiku Abubakar ran for the SDP presidential nomination in 1993. After the first ballot of the Jos primaries, Moshood Abiola had 3,617 votes, Baba Gana Kingibe 3,255, and Atiku Abubakar 2,066. Atiku Abubakar and Baba Gana Kingibe considered combining 5,231 votes to challenge Abiola. However, MKO Abiola promised to make Atiku Abubakar his running mate after Shehu Yar’Adua asked him to withdraw. SDP governors later pressured MKO Abiola to pick Baba Gana Kinigbe as his running mate in the June 12 presidential election. After June 12 and General Sani Abacha’s death, Atiku Abubakar expressed interest in running for Adamawa State’s governorship under the United Nigeria Congress Party. Atiku Abubakar joined the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 1998 and was subsequently nominated for governor of Adamawa State in December 1998. He won the governorship elections, but before he could be sworn in, he agreed to serve as the vice presidential candidate for PDP presidential candidate, former military head of state General Olusegun Obasanjo, who went on to win the 1999 presidential election and usher in the Fourth Nigerian Republic.

Atiku Abubakar became Nigeria’s Vice President on May 29, 1999. During his first term in office, he and Nasir El Rufai privatized hundreds of state-owned businesses that were losing money and poorly run. President Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku Abubakar clashed during his second term. Atiku Abubakar and President Olusegun Obasanjo had a very public falling out in 2006, ostensibly over Olusegun Obasanjo’s attempt to change the constitution so that he could run for reelection. The failed constitutional amendment caused a brief rift in the People’s Democratic Party. The National Assembly vetoed amendments allowing Olusegun Obasanjo to run again. In 2006, Atiku Abubakar left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) ahead of the 2007 elections after a dispute with Olusegun Obasanjo. A group of young Nigerians from the Northern Youth Leaders Forum reportedly visited Olusegun Obasanjo at his Abeokuta home on March 30 to ask for forgiveness for “whatever political sin or offense” Atiku Atiku Abubakar may have committed during his time as vice president. The former president of Nigeria responded, “as a leader and father, I bear no grudge against anybody, and if there is, I have forgiven them all.” Atiku Abubakar said he would run for president on November 25, 2006. He became Action Congress’ presidential candidate on December 20, 2006. On March 14, 2007, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) put out the final list of 24 presidential candidates for the election on April 21. Atiku Abubakar wasn’t on the ballot. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) released a statement explaining that Atiku Abubakar wasn’t on the ballot because he was on a list of people indicted for corruption by a government panel. Atiku Abubakar appealed his disqualification on March 16. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on April 16 that INEC could not disqualify candidates. Although there were concerns that ballots with Atiku Abubakar’s name might be available after April 21, the ruling allowed him to run. Atiku Abubakar was confirmed for the poll by INEC on April 17. Atiku Abubakar finished third, behind Umaru Yar’Adua of the PDP and Muhammadu Buhari of the ANPP, with 7% of the vote (2.6 million votes). Atiku Abubakar called it Nigeria’s “worst election ever” and demanded its annulment. He said he did not want to “dignify such a hollow ritual with my presence” and thus would not attend Umaru Yar’Adua’s inauguration on May 29 because he did not believe the election was fair.

Atiku Abubakar left the Peoples Democratic Party again on February 2, 2014, to found the All Progressives Congress and run for president in 2015. Muhammadu Buhari won the Lagos APC presidential primaries with 3,430 votes, Rabiu Kwankwaso with 974 votes, and Atiku Abubakar with 974. and. He decided to “return home” to the PDP after resolving the issues that caused him to leave. 2019. Atiku Abubakar launched his presidential campaign in 2018 and won the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) nomination in the country’s presidential primaries on October 7 in Port Harcourt. He defeated all other candidates and received 1,532 votes, 839 more than Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal. Atiku Abubakar campaigned in Kogi State, promising to finish abandoned projects. He attended #NGTheCandidate’s town hall on January 30. In the meeting, he promised amnesty to looters and privatization of 90% of NNPC, Nigeria’s primary revenue source. On February 7, 2019, Atiku Abubakar campaigned in Katsina, visiting the Emir of Daura. President Muhammadu Buhari defeated Atiku Abubakar by over 3 million votes on February 27, 2019. The Supreme Court appealed and called the election “worst in Nigeria’s democratic history.” Atiku Abubakar rejoined the PDP after the 2007 elections. He declared his presidential candidacy in October 2010. On November 22, a Committee of Northern Elders chose him as the Northern Consensus Candidate over former Military President Ibrahim Babangida, former National Security Adviser Aliyu Gusau, and Kwara State Governor Bukola Saraki. Atiku Abubakar lost the party’s presidential primary in January 2011 to President Jonathan’s 2736 votes. INEC registered two political parties in August 2013. Peoples Democratic Movement was one of them. Local media said that Atiku Abubakar started the party as a backup plan in case he couldn’t run for president on the PDP platform. Atiku Abubakar stated that his “political associates” founded the PDM, but he remained a PDP member. Atiku Abubakar won the Peoples Democratic Party’s 2023 presidential primary on May 28, 2022, at Abuja’s Moshood Abiola Stadium, defeating 12 other candidates. He received 371 of 767 accredited ballots, while Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike received 237. Bukola Saraki, former Senate President of Nigeria, placed third with 70 votes, while Akwa Ibom Governor Udom Emmanuel placed fourth with 38 votes.

Atiku Abubakar Ethnicity

Atiku Abubakar is a member of the Fulani tribe, which is located in the northeastern part of Nigeria.

Atiku Abubakar Parents

Atiku Abubakar was born to Garba and Aisha Kande, respectively, his father and mother.

Atiku Abubakar Siblings

Atiku Abubakar was predeceased by his only sister when she was still an infant. It was determined that he did not have any siblings.

Atiku Abubakar Religion

Atiku Abubakar was raised in an Islamic household by his parents and grandparents. He continues to practice Islam.

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Atiku Abubakar Wives

Atiku Abubakar has been married five times to Amina Titi Atiku-Abubakar, Ladi Yakubu, Jennifer Iwenjiora Douglas, Princess Rukaiyatu, and Fatima Shettima. Atiku Abubakar separated from Ladi Yakubu and married Jennifer Douglas. In 2021, Jennifer Douglas and Atiku Abubakar also split up.

Atiku Abubakar Children

Atiku Abubakar is a father to twenty-eight children he had with four different women. Adamu, Halima, Aminu, Abba, Atiku, Zainab, Ummi-Hauwa, Maryam, Rukaiyatu, Aisha, Hadiza, Aliyu, Asmau, Mustafa, Laila, Abdulsalam, Amina, Mohammed, Ahmed, Shehu, Zainab, Aisha, and Hafsat are his children.

Atiku Abubakar Social Media

Atiku Abubakar uses the Instagram handle @aatiku. On Facebook, he goes by the name @atiku is the Twitter handle of Atiku Abubakar.

Atiku Abubakar Net Worth

It is estimated that Atiku Abubakar possesses a net worth of $1.8 billion.