Brief History- He is one of Nigerian finest leaders born like every other young Nigerians, he was born 25 November 1946 born to an itinerant Fulani trader and farmer Garba Abubakar. Like many of his generation, Atiku’s father was opposed to the idea of Western Education, and tried to keep Atiku out of the traditional school system.
When the government discovered that Atiku was not attending mandatory schooling his father spent a few days in jail until Aisha Kande’s mother paid the fine.
At the age of eight Atiku enrolled in the Jada Primary School where he performed well. In 1960, he was admitted to the prestigious Adamawa Provincial Secondary School in Yola where he did well in English Language and Literature, struggled with Physics and Chemistry and Mathematics. He graduated with a Grade Three WASC/GCE Certificate in 1965.
Following secondary school, Atiku studied a short while at the Nigeria Police College in Kaduna. He left the College when he was unable to present an O-Level Mathematics result. He worked briefly as a Tax Officer in the regional Ministry of Finance, from where he gained admission to the School of Hygiene in Kano in 1966.
He graduated with a Diploma in 1967, having served as Interim Student Union President at the School. In 1967 he enrolled for a Law Diploma at the Ahmadu Bello University Institute of Administration, on a scholarship from regional government. After graduation in 1969, during the Nigerian Civil War, he was employed by the Nigeria Customs Service.
He has served as the second elected Vice-President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, along with President Olusegun Obasanjo. Before venturing into politics, he has served his motherland meticulously in the Nigeria Customs Service for twenty years, rising to become the Deputy Director, as the second highest position in the Service was then known. He retired in April 1989 and took up full-time business and politics. He first ran for the office of Governor in the old Gongola State (now Adamawa and Taraba States) in 1991, and for the Presidency in 1993, placing third after MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe in the Social Democratic Party (SDP) primaries.
In 1998 he was elected Governor of Adamawa State. While still Governor-Elect he was selected by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate Olusegun Obasanjo as his running mate. The duo went on to win elections in February 1999, and Abubakar was sworn-in as Nigeria’s second democratically elected Vice President on 29 May 1999.
In 2011, while celebrating the 50th anniversary of the US Peace Corps in 2011, the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) – an independent 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organisation, separate from the Peace Corps, that serves as an alumni association for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers honoured Atiku with the Harris Wofford Global Citizen Award.
At the presentation of the award, the National Peace Corps Association described Atiku Abubakar as one individual who contributed to the development of higher education on the continent of Africa. “No private businessman in Africa has worked harder for democracy or contributed more to the progress of higher education than Atiku Abubakar,” the NPCA said.
After leaving office in 2007 as Vice President, he has vied for the office of President twice which makes him a household name amongst Nigerian families just as Abraham Lincoln is to the Americans because he has been denied and schemed against by few Nigerians that are scared of his political dexterity and prowess.