+ How He Plans To Take Over From BUHARI
Many political watchers don’t quite understand Atiku’s game Plan right now. Many have been wondering how he intends to realise his ambition to become the next President of Nigeria after BUHARI. Some even think that he is not running again. City People, can tell you authoritatively that Atiku is running, come 2023. And he has tidied up his plans to run with a South-South candidate as running mate. Unless he changes his plan, insiders say he will most likely run with Gov. WIKE of Rivers State. And WIKE is also prepared.
Atiku does not see anything wrong in a Fulani replacing a FULANI. He agrees with the popular thinking, up North, right now, that nothing stops a Northerner from taking over from a Northerner. They feel the North has been cheated. They feel they have not completed their tenure since the exit of late Yar’Adua.
According to their calculations, Jonathan completed his 2 years and took over for 4 years and wanted to rule for another 4 years before he was stopped by the APC victory. Many of them believe that Jonathan’s lack of respect for the Gentleman’s Agreement that they all agreed to made him lose his 2nd term election to Pres. Buhari.
As it is now, Atiku has been working underground to prepare for the 2023 Presidential elections. He has been traversing the length & breadth of Nigeria. City People gathered that over the years, being underestimated has been Atiku’s strength. An investigation has shown that many people don’t know how rich the political pedigree of this former Vice-President, who wants to be President well. Many don’t know, inside out, this Adamawa-born politician, who served as the 2nd elected Vice-President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, on the platform of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), with President Olusegun Obasanjo. Let’s tell you a little.
Abubakar worked in the Nigeria Customs Service for 20 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 business and politics full-time. He ran for the office of Governor in the then Gongola State (now Adamawa and the 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 People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) Presidential candidate, Olusegun Obasanjo, as his running mate. The duo went on to win the election in February 1999, and Abubakar was sworn in as Nigeria’s second democratically elected vice president on 29 May 1999.
Abubakar’s 2nd term as Vice President was marked by a stormy relationship with President Obasanjo. His bid to succeed Obasanjo did not receive the latter’s support, and it took a judgment of the Supreme Court to allow Abubakar contest after he was initially disqualified by the Independent National Electoral Commission on the grounds that he had been indicted for financial misconduct by an investigating panel set up at Obasanjo’s behest. The Supreme Court ordered the electoral commission to restore Abubakar’s name on the presidential ballot. Abubakar ran on the platform of the Action Congress (AC), having quit the PDP on account of his issues with President Obasanjo. Atiku lost the election, placing third after Umaru Yar’Adua and Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP).
Let’s tell you about Atiku’s first foray into politics. It was in the early 1980s when he worked behind-the-scenes on the governorship campaign funds of Bamanga Tukur, who at that time, was the 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. Atiku was drawn by Yar’Adua into the political meetings that were now happening regularly in Yar’Adua’s Lagos home. In 1989, Atiku was elected a National Vice-Chairman of the Peoples Front of Nigeria, a political association led by Yar’Adua, to participate in the transition programme initiated by the then Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.
Atiku won a seat to represent his constituency at the 1989 Constituent Assembly, set up to decide a new constitution for Nigeria. The People’s Front was eventually denied registration by the government (none of the groups that applied was registered), and found a place within the Social Democratic Party, one of the two parties decreed into existence by the regime.
On 1 September 1990, Atiku announced his Gongola State gubernatorial bid. A year later, before the elections could hold, Gongola State was broken down into two – Adamawa and Taraba States – by the Federal Government. Atiku fell into the new Adamawa State. After an acrimonious contest, he won the SDP Primaries in November 1991 but was soon disqualified by the government from contesting the election.
A similar fate – disqualification by the military – would befall Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, Atiku’s friend and political mentor, in his 1992 bid for the presidential primary of the SDP. With no chance of contesting for the presidency, Yar’Adua decided to push Atiku forward as the focal point of SDP’s ambitions. Atiku came third in the convention primary. But because MKO Abiola, the winner, had won by only about 400 votes a run-off was due. Atiku stepped down for Abiola, asking his supporters to cast their votes for him, with an unwritten agreement that Abiola would announce Atiku as his running mate. Abiola won the SDP ticket and announced Babagana Kingibe, the runner-up, as his running mate.
In 1998 Atiku launched a bid for the governorship of Adamawa State on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party. He won the December 1998 election, but before he could be sworn in, he was tipped by the PDP’s presidential candidate, a former Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo, as his vice-presidential candidate. The Obasanjo-Atiku ticket won the 27 February 1999 presidential election with 62.78 percent of the vote.
Atiku Abubakar was sworn in as Vice-President of Nigeria on 29 May 1999. He presided over the National Council on Privatisation, overseeing the sale of hundreds of loss-making and poorly managed public enterprises.
In 1999, he, alongside South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma, launched South Africa – Nigeria Binational Commission.
In 2006, Atiku 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).
In a November 2013 interview Atiku is quoted as saying, regarding Obasanjo’s alleged attempts to justify his third term bid: “[He] informed me that ‘I left power twenty years ago, I left Mubarak in office, I left Mugabe in office, I left Eyadema in office, I left Umar Bongo, and even Paul Biya and I came back and they are still in power, and I just did eight years and you are asking me to go; why?’ And I responded to him by telling him that Nigeria is not Libya, not Egypt, not Cameroun, and not Togo; I said you must leave; even if it means both of us lose out, but you cannot stay.”
The debate and acrimony generated by the failed constitutional amendment momentarily caused a rift in the People’s Democratic Party. The Nigerian National Assembly eventually voted against any amendments, allowing Obasanjo to run for another term.
The Atiku-Obasanjo face-off damaged the personal relationship between both men.
On 25 November 2006, Abubakar announced that he would run for president. On 20 December 2006, he was chosen as the presidential candidate of the Action Congress (AC).
On 14 March 2007, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) released the final list of 24 candidates for the 21 April, presidential election. Abubakar’s name was missing on the ballot. INEC issued a statement saying that Abubakar’s name was missing because he was on a list of persons indicted for corruption by a panel set up by the government. Abubakar headed for the court on 16 March, to have his disqualification overturned. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on 16 April, that INEC had no power to disqualify candidates.
The ruling allowed Abubakar to contest the election, although there were concerns that it might not be possible to provide ballots with Abubakar’s name by 21 April, the date of the election. On 17 April, a spokesman for the INEC said that Abubakar would be on the ballot.
According to official results, Abubakar took third place, behind PDP’s candidate, Umaru Yar’Adua and ANPP’s candidate Muhammadu Buhari, with approximately 7% of the vote (2.6 million votes). Abubakar rejected the election results and called for its cancellation, describing it as Nigeria’s “worst election ever.”
He stated that he would not attend Umaru Yar’Adua’s inauguration on 29 May, owing to his view that the election was not credible, saying that he did not want to “dignify such a hollow ritual with my presence.”
Following the 2007 elections, Atiku returned to the People’s Democratic Party. In October 2010, he announced his intention to contest for the Presidency. On 22 November, a Committee of Northern Elders selected him as the Northern Consensus Candidate, over the former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, former National Security Adviser Aliyu Gusau and Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara State.
In January 2011, Atiku contested for the Presidential ticket of his party alongside President Goodluck Jonathan and Sarah Jubril, and lost the primary, garnering 805 votes to President Jonathan’s 2,736.
On 2 February 2014, Atiku left the People’s Democratic Party to join All Progressives Congress, a platform on which he sought to contest for the presidency in 2015, but lost at the primaries. In 2018, he went back to rejoin the PDP and he clinched the PDP presidential ticket.