Biography of Atiku Abubakar

Atiku Abubakar is a Nigerian politician and businessman born in Jada village of Adamawa state in the year 1946. He was once the governor of Adamawa State and former vice president of Nigeria. Atiku is currently running for the post of Nigerian President in the 2019 elections. iDONSABI brings you a full biography of Atiku Abubakar, including his net worth, wives, businesses and political career.

Atiku Abubakar Early Life

Atiku Abubakar was born on November 25, 1946 in the village of Jada, Adamawa State. His father was a Fulani trader and farmer. At the death of his sister, he became the only child of his parents. Atiku Abubakar’s education began late as his father was not supportive of the idea of western education. However after being arrested and made to pay a fine, he let Abubakar attend school.

Atiku began his education in Jada Primary School at the age of eight. On completion of his primary education, he gained admission into Adamawa Provincial Secondary School, Yola where he graduated in 1965. Atiku made a grade three in the West African School Certificate Examination and proceeded to Nigerian Police College, Kaduna. However, he dropped out of the college to take a position as a tax official in the Regional Ministry of Finance.

In 1967, Atiku progressed to obtain a diploma at the School of Hygiene, Kano. He later gained admission into Ahmadu Bello University where he was offered a Law Diploma on scholarship. Atiku graduated from the Ahmadu Bello

Atiku and first wife, Titilayo

University in 1969 during the Nigerian Civil war and took a job with the Nigeria Customs service in the same year.

Atiku Abubakar Political Career

Atiku’s political sojourn began in the early eighties when he was subtly involved in the governorship campaign of Bamanga Tukur. His political career however began actively after he voluntarily retired from the customs service in 1989 at the age of 43. He met Sheu Musa Yar’Adua who was at the time the second in command of the military government that ruled the country between 1976 and 1979.

Atiku usually attended political meetings with Yar’Adua and in 1989, he became the National vice Chairman of the People’s Front of Nigeria, a political association led by Yar’Adua. Atiku was elected to represent his constituency at the 1989 Constituent Assembly set up with the aim of providing a new Nigerian Constitution.

In his first gubernatorial run in 1991, Under the Platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Atiku won the primaries to contest for gubernatorial election. However he was disqualified by the government from contesting.

First Presidential Run

In 1992, Atiku had his first presidential run where he came third in the primaries. He had to step down for MKO Abiola to contest the presidential election after an unwritten agreement that the latter will announce him as running mate. Unfortunately, soon as Abiola won the Social Democratic Party ticket, he announced the runner up, Babagana Kingibe as his running mate.

Atiku later became the governor of Adamawa State in 1998 after winning the election in his second gubernatorial run. Prior to his swearing in as governor, the then PDP presidential candidate, Olusegun Obasanjo invited him to be his running mate.


On February 27, 1999, Obasanjo and Atiku won the election and Atiku was sworn in as the vice president of Nigeria on the 29th of May, 1999.

In 2006, Atiku was reported to have been involved in a battle with his superior, President Olusegun Obasanjo over the latter’s decision to amend the constitution and allow for a third term for the office of the president.

Second and Third Presidential Run

In his second presidential run on the 20th of December, 2006, Atiku, under the canopy of Action Congress came third place behind the PDP and ANPP candidates, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Muhammadu Buhari respectively.

Again in 2011, Atiku had his third presidential run. This time, he contested for the Presidential ticket under the umbrella of the People’s Democratic Party but lost at the primaries. Atiku left the People’s Democratic Party in February 2014 to join the All Progressives Congress APC where he contested for the presidential ticket and lost to Muhammadu Buhari.

He also left the All Progressives Party in November 2017 and returned to the People Democratic Party. Abubakar was reported to have announced his decision to “return home” since all issues that made him leave had been resolved.

Fourth Presidential Run

In 2018, Atiku again declared an intent to contest for presidency under the PDP making it his fourth presidential run. He won the nomination at the PDP convention on the 7th of October 2018 and has since began active campaign towards the election.

Atiku Abubakar Net Worth

Atiku’s net worth is said to be about $1.4 billion dollars. This is in terms of assets and businesses. He is the founder of the American university of Nigeria (AUN), an American style university located in Yola, Adamawa State. He is also the founder of Adama Beverages Limited as well as owner of an animal feed factory.

Atiku is also popularly declared as the biggest private(individual) employer of labour in Nigeria with over 50, 000 employees.

Atiku Abubakar Relationship – Marriage and Family Life

Atiku married his first wife, Titilayo Albert who he met when she was nineteen. They got married in a secret wedding that took place in Lagos in December 1971 as her parents were initially opposed to the wedding.

In 1979, he got married to his second wife Ladi Yakubu. Atiku was reported to have stated that he wanted to expand his family so his children will have brothers and sisters unlike him who was raised as an only child.

By 1983, Atiku got married again to the daughter of Late Lamido of Adamawa, Princess Rukaiyatu. Three years later in 1986, he married Fatima Shettima making four wives.

Atiku got a divorce with Ladi Yakubu in order to allow him marry another wife, Jeniffer Iwenjora. This was according to Islamic injunctions which did not allow more than four wives. Jennifer Iwenjora later changed her name to Jamila Atiku Abubakar.

Atiku Abubakar Children

Atiku has 27 children in total. His first wife, Titilayo has four namely Fatima, Adamu, Halima and Aminu. The second wife Ladi Yakubu, had for him six children including Abba, Atiku, Ummi-Hauwa, Maryam and Rukaiyatu.

Atiku at his grandsons' graduation
Atiku at his grandsons’ graduation

Princess Rukaiyatu, Atiku’s third wife has seven children while the fourth Fatima Shetimma has seven. The last wife, Jeniifer Iwenjora for whom Atiku divorced Ladi, has three children.

Atiku Awards and Honours

Atiku has received quite a number of awards from different bodies. These include the Harris Wofford Global Citizen Award in the year 2011, a Chieftaincy title of Tukari of Adamawa state as well as Waziri of Adamawa among others.

In the year 2018, Atiku emerged as one of the most searched Nigerian names on Google.

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