Abubakar was the Vice-President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. He is a Muslim native of Adamawa State, and was an influential member of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) until 2006 when he switched affiliation to the Action Congress party.
Since becoming Vice President in 1999, he has presided over the National Council on Privatization during which hundreds of loss-making and poorly managed public enterprises were sold off in a manner that has prompted more questions than answers. There have been wild allegations that Atiku engaged in unwholesome practices during the privatization of some of those previously State-owned parastatals. President Obasanjo's son, Gbenga, alluded to this allegation in an interview with an internet-based journal, Elendu Reports, where he insinuated that Atiku "sold Pentascope to himself". These allegations yet again remain unproven, though many political analysts see him, rather sympathetically, as a man who is more prone to cook-ups than conspiracy.
The role played by Atiku in a 'state of emergency' invoked on Plateau State also gives credence to his support for fairness to people of other faiths.
In 2006, Atiku had in a face-off with his direct superior, President Olusegun Obasanjo, due to the latter's eventual failed attempts to amend certain provisions of the constitution in order to take another shot at the presidency (for the third consecutive time). It is unclear whether Atiku's opposition to President Obasanjo's inordinate ambition was altruistic or selfish. Nonetheless, Atiku had never hidden his interest in the coveted post. The debate and acrimony generate by the failed constitutional amendment momentarily caused a rift in the People's Democratic Party. It also appears to have irreparably damaged both men's political and personal relationship, of which, Mr Abubakar, from all indications, is feeling the brunt of it. Despite the furor, the Nigerian National Assembly eventually voted against any amendments allowing Obasanjo to run for another term.
He was the Vice-President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. He is a Muslim native of Adamawa State, and was an influential member of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) until 2006 when he switched affiliation to the Action Congress party.
He came up the ranks of the ruling PDP primarily, due to the pivotal role he played in its formation. He was also an ardent opponent of General Sani Abacha, the late dictator. Atiku's source of wealth has caused some curiosity among Nigerians but that also goes for many other wealthy Nigerians. He has said in a new biography yet to be published that he made his money, "through wise investments, hard work and sheer luck of being at the right place at the right time".
Atiku attended Jada Primary School, 1954–1960, Adamawa Provinsional School, Yola, 1961 to 1965, with Advance Level studies in Economics, British Economic History, Government and Hausa Language, School of hygiene Kano, 1966–1967, graduating with Royal Society of Health Diploma, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, 1967, graduating with Diploma in Law, in 1969
Atiku joined the Customs and Excise department in 1969, serving in Seme, Kano, Maiduguri, Kaduna, Ibadan and Lagos. He rose to the rank of Deputy Director (second in command nationwide), with a notably impeccable service record. Since then, he has attended courses in Leadership Management, Drug Enforcement and Control in Finland, Egypt and United States of America.
Abubakar went into private business after his retirement, with interests in oil Services, agriculture, food and beverages, print media, insurance, pharmaceuticals, and education. His reported philanthropic activities have included building of schools and mosques across the country, sponsorship of local and foreign treatment of citizens with aggravated medical problems, as well as local/oversea scholarships to disadvantaged Nigerian students.