“If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing”
By CHIDI OBINECHE
He is like the full moon that has come full circle; the tree with ripe- reddened fruits, the mountain that drips with dew. In the last couple of months, former Vice- President Atiku Abubakar’s name has festooned on lips, drawn much vibes in flaks and applause. He is in the moment, stoking the nation’s psyche, filling in the gaps of missteps and misses.
At the dawn of the new year last week, shards of prophecies rocked with his name. Some said he is the president to come. Others peeped into the broken walls and claimed they saw him leading a new-found mega party to the “Golan heights”. Over the years, he has been dirtied, clammied , impugned. But he has always managed to rise from the canvas, the humbling grass. From the day he set his hands on the sails, Atiku has hugged the sweet and bitter sides.
His iron clad quest to be president having come so close to it before, has been a tarried subject of immense discourse and inquisition. Some say it smells of vaulting ambition, the type that blindfolds and inebriates.
Others insist it is a test of endurance, the race of pheidippedes in the ancient Greek myth. But from every side of the coin, he portrays the “can do spirit”, the Walt Sidney Company pay-off that “ If you can dream it, you can do it.” He depicts the wise cracks of Albert Einstein when he said that “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” In bloom and dire straits, he keeps moving; telling everyone that he, who robs us of our dreams robs us of our life. The essential Atiku Abubakar.
Born on November 25, 1946 in Jada Adamawa State, he became the only child of his parents when his only sister died at infancy. He attended Adamawa Provincial Secondary School, Yola from 1960 to 1965. After graduation, he proceeded to the Nigeria Police College, Kaduna and thereafter worked as a tax officer in the regional Ministry of Finance. He got admission to the School of Hygeine, Kano in 1966 and bagged a diploma in 1967.
The same year, he was admitted for a Law Diploma at the Ahmadu Bello Univwersity, ABU on a scholarship. He joined the Nigeria Customs Service on his graduation in 1969. He held top Command positions and voluntarily retired in 1989 as Deputy Director, Enforcement and Drugs. He has interest in many business ventures encompassing manufacturing, real estate, agriculture, trading, education, oil and gas ,etc. His foray into the world of politics began in 1989 when he became the National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Front of Nigeria, PFN. He was a member of the Constituent Assembly in 1989.
In 1998, he was elected governor of Adamawa State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP before he was called to run with ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo in the presidential elections that year.On December 20,2006 he became the presidential candidate of the defunct Action Congress, AC and lost in the elections. In 2011, he again lost in the PDP presidential primary. On February 2, 2014 he defected from the PDP to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.