Abubakar, Atiku ätē´ko͞o äbo͞obäkär´ [key], 1946–, Nigerian politician, grad. Ahmadu Bello Univ. Law School (1969). A Muslim and member of the Hausa ethnic group, he worked in the government's customs department, later going into business. After surviving an assassination attempt in 1995 he left Nigeria for a brief time. He was a founder of the People's Democratic party (PDP), and twice (1999 and 2003) was its successful vice presidential candidate. Abubakar broke with President Olusegun Obasanjo and left the PDP in 2006 over Obasanjo's plans to change the constitution to permit a third presidential term. As the Action Congress party candidate, he ran unsuccessfully for president in 2007; the election was marked by significant irregularites. In 2009 he rejoined the PDP and later (2010) announced his candidacy for the 2011 presidential election, but the PDP chose President Goodluck Jonathan as its candidate. In 2013 Abubakar joined with several governors and other politicians to break with the PDP; he subsequently joined (2014) the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC). He became a key ally of Muhammadu Buhari, the APC's successful presidential candidate in 2015, but quit the APC in 2017. In 2019 he ran for the presidency as the PDP candidate, losing to Buhari.
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