Power isn’t control but strength, and giving that strength to others. Atiku Abubakar is one of the Nigerian born great leaders willing to give his strength to others so they may have the strength to stand on their own. He is a Nigerian politician, businessman, and philanthropist, who served as the 2nd elected Vice-President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, as a member People’s Democratic Party (PDP), with President Olusegun Obasanjo. People who love him feel he has a clear plan for Nigeria and insist he is the most qualified in Nigeria to lead Nigerians to the promised land. Hence, has gained himself a warm place in the hearts of many Nigerians. The surprising thing is that with the rapid growth in ICT, the present day generation seems not to know much about him. We bring you 10 most absorbing facts you really didn’t about Atiku Abubakar to breach the gap that misinformation may have created.
Biography, Family, and Children
It was on 25 November 1946 that Atiku Abubakar was born in Jada town, Adamawa state. After his birth, the man was named after his grandfather. This is a common practice among the Fulani people to name their first sons after their paternal grandfathers. Atiku Abubakar is in essence the first son of his parents.
Atiku had a very humble beginning and has witnessed huge struggles of life considering the early death of his father after he was jailed for not being able to pay fine (10 shillings) that was charged by Alkali court for trying to stop Atiku Abubakar from going to school when Native Authority officials had embarked on compulsory mass literacy campaign in the region.
While growing up, Abubakar’s father wanted him to become an Islamic scholar, herdsman, farmer, and trader – just like him. But contrary to this dream, he became a politician, businessman, and philanthropist, and served as the 2nd elected Vice-President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, as a member of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), under President Olusegun Obasanjo.
As he journeyed towards this life, the man attended Jahad primary school in Jada in 1960, and his secondary school at Adamawa Provincial Secondary School in Yola. He furthered even after so many struggles of life and completed Diploma in Law programme in June 1969. One significant thing about him, most especially as it regards his education is that he was a persistent hard worker.
In kicking off his career, Atiku worked as a clerk in Ganye during holiday and used his earnings to buy a house (a thatched mud bungalow with two rooms plus a kitchen and bathroom) worth nine Pounds Sterling for his mother in Ganye, the headquarters of the local government council before joining custom service.
Atiku is married to Titi Abubakar, as well as Rukayat, Fatima, and Jennifer, amounting to four wives and has 26 children. He met nineteen-year-old Titilayo Albert while he was at Idi-Iroko, and he secretly married her in December 1971, in Lagos, because her family was initially against the union. In 1979, he married Ladi Yakubu because he had a lonely upbringing for being the only child and does not want his children to suffer what he had suffered. His key reason being that he needed to expand his family. In 1983, he married Princess Rukaiyatu and later divorced Ladi Yakubu to marry Jennifer Iwenjora who became Jamila Atiku Abubakar.
With his first wife, the former vice president has 4 children while with the second, he has six children. His third wife, Princess Rukaiyat has seven children for the man, while his next wife gave him six children. His last wife, Hajia Jamila has three children with him.
Atiku’s son, Abba, married his Colombian girlfriend Mariana Saleeby-Velilla in April 2014. The wedding took place both in Dubai and Adamawa proving how much Atiku respects the culture of his people and Nigeria at large. Atiku once declined a token of appreciation from Shehu Musa Yar’Adua owning to the fact that he was doing his job after assisting him to obtain a license to import beans from Niger Republic for sale in Nigeria.
Early Political Life
He came into the world of politics in 1980 when he was 34, but worked behind-the-scenes on the governorship campaign of Bamanga Tukur who at that time was managing director of Nigeria Ports Authority. Atiku sought for votes for Tukur’s behalf and also contributed to the campaign. While in the customs service, he met Shehu Musa Yar’Adua who had been second in command of the military government that was ruling Nigeria between 1976 and 1979. In 1989, he was made a National Vice-Chairman of the Peoples Front of Nigeria, the political association led by Yar’Adua, to participate in the change programme founded by Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. He later won the position to be the representative of his constituency at the 1989 Constituent Assembly. I would say he grew from strength to strength from that point.
Net Worth and House
Not many people know that Atiku made his money through hard work. Atiku built his first house using Federal Staff Housing Loan of N31,000 which was equivalent to his five years salary or earnings from custom. After the construction, he rented the apartment and used the money to get another plot where he built his second house. This explains how he ventured into property investment and started earning money in estate business. He has a lot of companies in different areas, but the most successful ones are dealing with oil and gas logistics. More so, he birthed Adama Beverages Limited, and the American University of Nigeria (AUN), both in Yola.
Although there was a time in 2017 when the net worth of the man was put at over a billion dollars, that may hardly be so as he didn’t make it to the Forbes billionaires list. Nevertheless, his net worth is said to be very close to a billion dollars.
Quick Facts About Atiku Abubakar
- Although he has married 5 women, he is only left with 4 as he divorced one before marrying others.
- Before joining politics, he was a customs officer.
- He has 26 children from all his marriages.
- He has tried to become Nigeria’s president in all the elections since 2007.
- Atiku is known for philanthropy.
- Before he was selected as vice president in 1998, Atiku was elected governor of his home state, Adamawa.
- He has been a member of many political parties in Nigeria including the PDP, APC, ACN, and others.
- He is most likely going to contest the 2019 presidential election.