13th April, 2022
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and a presidential aspirant of the platform of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, was quoted to have said that he contested for the governorship position four different times before he finally won in 1999. Is that true?
Atiku won the governorship of Adamawa in 1999 on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, but did not assume the position as he was chosen as the Vice President to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
He made the claim of contesting for the governorship post in a speech to leaders of over 200 support groups championing his 2023 presidential ambition across the country.
Governorship election four times?
It is possible that Abubakar was misquoted that he ran for the governorship election in his state four times.
If not, he blatantly lied about his political races.
The first known governorship election that Atiku contested was that of 1999, which he won.
He made two attempts before then to be on the ballot, but he did not succeed. In one, there was even no election.
After retiring from the Customs in 1988, Abubakar joined the Peoples Front of Nigeria, being led by Shehu Yar’Adua in the build-up to the Third Nigerian Republic.
He 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 military government and morphed with the government-created Social Democratic Party (SDP).
In 1990, Abubakar announced his Gongola State governorship bid, his first attempt to win the governorship seat.
Before the elections could hold, Gongola State was broken up into two – Adamawa and Taraba States by the Babangida Government.
Abubakar’s constituency fell into the new Adamawa State.
Though he won the SDP Primaries in November 1991, he was disqualified by the government from contesting the elections.
So he only made an unsuccessful bid to be on the ballot. He didn’t contest any election, which was then won by Abubakar Saleh Michika of the National Republican Convention(NRC).
Thereafter, Abubakar contested the SDP presidential primaries in 1993. He came third in the race, behind MKO Abiola and Baba Gana Kingibe.
During the Abacha transition, Abubakar also made an attempt to contest the Adamawa State governorship seat under the United Nigeria Congress Party.
There was no election as the transition program came to an end with the death of General Abacha
In 1998 Abubakar joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and secured nomination for Governor of Adamawa State. He won the December 1998 governorship elections.
He was not sworn in as he was nominated as President Olusegun Obasanjo’s vice president.
He served as VP between 1999 and 2007, but ended falling out with Obasanjo in the bid to succeed him.
He had since made four failed attempts to become president.
He contested in 2007, he failed.
He attempted to win the PDP ticket in 2011, he also failed. He lost to President Goodluck Jonathan.
He slugged it out with President Buhari for the APC ticket in 2015. He also lost.
In 2019, he ran for the presidency on the ticket of the PDP and also lost to Buhari.
He is now making another fifth pitch for the 2023 presidency.