Aside from being the second elected vice-president of Nigeria, not many can say too much about the private life of Atiku Abubakar.
The 69-year-old politician has worked in the Nigeria Customs Service for twenty years, rising to become the deputy director, before he finally retired in April 1989 to face politics full time.
However, aside from all these ‘butterflies’ about the Ahmadu Bello University graduate, not many know what his home front looks like. According to reports, he has 26 children from his five wives. In the book titled ‘Atiku – The Story Of Atiku Abubakar’, the former vice president explains why he opted for polygamy as a young man. Atiku said: “I wanted to expand the Abubakar family. I felt extremely lonely as a child. I had no brother and no sister. I did not want my children to be as lonely as I was. This is why I married more than one wife. My wives are my brothers, my sisters, my friends and my advisers and they complement one another”.
Atiku Abubakar married Amina Titi Atiku Abubakar at the young age of 25 secretly in December 1971, at the Ikoyi registry in Lagos, because her family was initially opposed to the union.
In January 1979 he married Ladi Atiku Abubakar. He married his third wife, Princess Rukaiyatu Atiku Abubakar, daughter of the late Lamido of Adamawa in 1983. He married Fatima Atiku Abubakar his fourth wife in 1986. He later divorced Ladi, allowing him to marry, as his fourth wife, Jennifer Iwenjora, who then became Jamila Atiku-Abubakar.
The first wife gave birth to 4 children, Fatima, Adamu, Halima and Aminu while the second wife, Hajia Ladi has 6 children: Abba, Atiku, Zainab, Ummi, Mariam and Rukayatu. The third wife, Princess Rukaiyat ( current Lamido Adamawa’s 13th child) had 7 children: Aisha, Hadiza, Aliyu, Asmau, Mustafa, Laila and Abdulsalaam. Hajia Fatima has 6 children: Amina, Mohammed and 2 sets of twins – Ahmed and Shehu; Aisha and Zainab. And Hajia Jamila has 3 children: Abdulmalik, Zahra and Faisal.
Just recently, the All Progressives Congress (APC) politician and businessman gave out three of his daughters in marriage same day.