Politics is indeed a dirty game. Over the years, this saying has become very popular with those who initially didn’t believe it.
One man who was recently reminded of the saying and what politics can do to a man is former Vice-President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar.
As the 2019 elections draw nearer, several interested candidates have been strategising by mudslinging.
Atiku got a taste of what to expect come 2019, when he was recently awashed with negativity.
Having donated N5 million to the victims of the Makurdi, Benue State flood incident, many had expected Atiku to turn the proverbial knight in shinning amour, but this was not to be as his critics hit the social media running his yet to be unveiled 2019 Presidential ambition aground with allegations of corruption.
Interestingly, the Turakin Adamawa has taken the fight back to his critics urging them to produce evidence of his corruption or shut up.
Atiku Abubakar was born to an itinerant Fulani trader and farmer Garba Abubakar, and his second wife, Aisha Kande, in Jada village in what is today Adamawa State, formerly Gongola state. He was named for his paternal grandfather, Atiku Abdulkadir. An older sister died in infancy, making Atiku the only child of his parents who divorced before his father’s death by drowning in 1957. Atiku’s early years were spent in Kojoli, 30 kilometres east of Jada. His mother later remarried. She died of a heart attack in 1984.
Like many of his generation, Atiku’s father was opposed to the idea of Western education, and tried to keep Atiku out of the traditional school system. When the government discovered that Atiku was not attending mandatory schooling his father spent a few days in jail until Aisha Kande’s mother paid the fine.
At the age of eight Atiku enrolled in the Jada Primary School where he performed well. In 1960, he was admitted to the prestigious Adamawa Provincial Secondary School in Yola where he did well in English Language and Literature, struggled with Physics and Chemistry and Mathematics. He graduated with a Grade Three WASC/GCE Certificate in 1965.
Following secondary school, Atiku studied a short while at the Nigeria Police College in Kaduna. He left the College when he was unable to present an O-Level Mathematics result. He worked briefly as a Tax Officer in the regional Ministry of Finance, from where he gained admission to the School of Hygiene in Kano in 1966. He has since become a signature in politic especially in northern Nigeria.