10 Interesting hidden facts about Atiku you probably don’t know – Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is a household name in Nigeria’s political climate who’s most popular run was between 1999 to 2007 when he was the vice president, apart from serving in that capacity for 8years, Atiku has a unique resume which many probably don’t give the needed attention it deserve.
This article will center on 10 hidden facts about Atiku you probably don’t know:
1. Atiku Abubakar’s first venture into politics was in the early 1980s – Abubakar’s first venture into politics was in the early 1980s, when he worked behind-the-scenes on the governorship campaign of Bamanga Tukur, who at that time was managing director of the Nigeria Ports Authority. He canvassed for votes on behalf of Tukur, and also donated to the campaign. Towards the end of his Customs career, he met Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, who had been second-in-command of the military government that ruled Nigeria between 1976 and 1979.
2. Atiku is one of the few legendary politicians who did not serve in the military – Atiku is one of the few remaining politicians with no military background, he has been a civilian and a democrat to the core. As a businessman, Abubakar started out in the real estate business during his early days as a Customs Officer. In 1974 he applied for and received a 31,000 naira loan to build his first house in Yola, which he put up for rent. From proceeds of the rent he purchased another plot, and built a second house. He continued this way, building a sizeable portfolio of property in Yola.
3. Atiku ran for governorship election in 1990 and 1998 – On 1 September 1990, Abubakar announced his Gongola State gubernatorial bid. A year later, before the elections could hold, Gongola State was broken up into two – Adamawa and Taraba States – by the Federal Government. Abubakar fell into the new Adamawa State. In 1998 Abubakar launched a bid for the governorship of Adamawa State on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party.
4. He is the only politician in Nigeria to win governorship election without being sworn in – In 1998 Abubakar launched a bid for the governorship of Adamawa State on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party. He won the December 1998 elections, but before he could be sworn in he was tapped by the PDP’s presidential candidate, former Head of State Olusegun Obasanjo, as his vice-presidential candidate. The Obasanjo-Abubakar ticket won the 27 February 1999 presidential election with 62.78 percent of the vote.
5. Atiku ran alongside MKO Abiola for SDP’s presidential primaries – in 1993 Atiku ran for the SDP presidential ticket alongside Chief MKO Abiola, Abubakar came third in the convention primary. But because MKO Abiola, the winner, had won by only about 400 votes a run-off was due. Abubakar stepped down for Abiola, asking his supporters to cast their votes for him, with an unwritten agreement that Abiola would announce Abubakar as his running mate. Abiola won the SDP ticket, and announced Babagana Kingibe, the runner-up, as his running mate.
6. He is a founding member of PDP as well as APC – Atiku has the distinction of being a founding member of both the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC and the main opposition, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. Long before Action Congress became ACN, Atiku in 2007 was their presidential candidate. ACN later collapsed into APC in 2013. In 1998 he was also one of the founding members of PDP which played a key role in ushering in the democracy we have today. Over the years Atiku has defected multiple times within the parties he helped found.
7. Atiku was responsible for Obasanjo’s failed third term agenda – In 2006, Abubakar was involved in a bitter public battle with his boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo, ostensibly arising from the latter’s bid to amend certain provisions of the constitution to take another shot at the presidency (for the third consecutive time). Ever since the failed third term agenda of former president Olusegun Obasanjo due to Atiku’s deviance, the two politicians has become mortal enemies.
8. Atiku has contested for Presidency on four different occasions – Atiku’s presidential ambition started in 1992 when he ran alongside MKO Abiola, he has since contested on three others presidential elections in 2007, 2011 and 2015. He is also poised to contest for the 5th time in 2019.
9. Atiku’s message is restructuring and True Federalism – One of his most recent campaigns is True Federalism. He has been delivering speeches all over the country inspiring Nigerians on the need to restructure the country. He has been receiving massive endorsement for his stand on True Federalism.
He recently declared at an event where he was conferred the award Hero Of Democracy by Hall of Grace Magazine.
“Political decentralization will also help to deepen and strengthen our democracy as it will encourage more accountability. Citizens are more likely to demand accountability when governments spend their tax money rather than rent collected from an impersonal source.”
He also said:
“True Federalism will encourage States to competes to attract investments and skilled workers rather than merely waiting for monthly revenue allocation from Abuja”
Many of his speeches have caused positive stir nationwide as Nigerians are supporting the idea of True Federalism which involves allowing states to have control over their resources most especially the South South and South East of Nigeria.
10. He is the most prepared presidential aspirant for 2019 – many political pundits have agreed that Atiku is the most prepared aspirant for the 2019 presidential elections. He has a clear plan for Nigeria which is true federalism and restructuring he has been consistently spearheading for many years.