Atiku at 77: How Abacha’s Goons Almost Killed Ex-Vice President, Phrank Shaibu Reveals

Atiku at 77: How Abacha’s Goons Almost Killed Ex-Vice President, Phrank Shaibu Reveals

  • A shocking revelation has emerged about former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who turns 77 on Saturday, November 25
  • His media aide, Phrank Shaibu, in his birthday eulogy to his principal, counted some of his ordeals on his way to political prominence
  • Shaibu recounted how the military regime of late General Sani Abacha almost killed the former Vice President journalist Segun Adeyemi has over 9 years of experience covering political events, civil society, courts, and metro

FCT, Abuja - Phrank Shaibu, the special assistant on public communication to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has revealed how his principal was almost killed by the regime of the former military junta, late General Sani Abacha.

Shaibu revealed this in his birthday eulogy to Atiku, who turns 77 on Saturday, November 25.

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Atiku, Abacha
Atiku Abubakar made his debut in politics in the late 80s. Photo Credit: George Osodi/AFP
Source: Getty Images

He recounted how Atiku debuted into politics in the late 80s after a successful stint in service as a customs officer.

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Atiku's political debut and ordeal with Abacha

Shaibu also recalled how Atiku’s victory in the 1991 gubernatorial poll in Adamawa was questionably annulled. Atiku went on to contest the presidential primary under the umbrella of the Social Democratic Party and lost.

He wrote:

“Even though he was not directly affected by the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election since he was not on the ballot, he put everything he had on the line in order to fight for democracy and was almost killed by Abacha’s goons in the mid-90s.”

Atiku's rise in politics

However, Atiku’s political endeavours began to yield fruit when he contested and won the 1999 gubernatorial polls in Adamawa state.

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But God smiled at him as he was “picked as running mate to General Olusegun Obasanjo and subsequently became Vice President.”

According to Shaibu, Atiku’s time as Vice President was filled with several ordeals, but he could stand firm and fight against attempts to deteriorate democracy.

He wrote:

“As Vice President, he fought against attempts to amend the constitution and extend the tenure of executive officeholders even though he could have been a beneficiary of such a move.
“By this move, he played a role in not just entrenching democracy but preventing Nigeria from becoming a failing state like some African countries that have removed term limits for their heads of state.
“During his trying days as Vice President, his official privileges were revoked by the powers that be. But this did not stop the Waziri from paying salaries and allowances of his personal aides. He continued to look after them and tried as much as possible to shield them from persecution.”

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Shaibu described Atiku’s story as one laced with “victory, success, and beating the odds.”

He described Atiku as a man who was “dealt a bad hand early in life but refused to be limited by his background and rose from the ashes like a phoenix.”

He wrote:

“He is a man who has lifted others and has continued to trust in humanity despite the many betrayals he has faced.
“His, indeed, is a life well spent. It is only fitting to conclude that Atiku Abubakar is a gift to the world.”

PDP Crisis: Atiku asked to drop his presidential ambition

In another report, Atiku has been asked to drop his presidential ambition to earn respect in the party.

Umar Ardo, an ex-aide to the former vice president, said the PDP governors are obviously not supporting him, and he can only be embraced in the party if he drops his presidential ambition.

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Ardo maintained that the other option for the former vice president was to leave the PDP to pursue his presidential ambition.


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