Atiku and the Cameroon Journey
By Yusuf Shehu
A lot has been said in recent times as regards Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party in the just concluded presidential elections. From what we know, he is supposedly from Jada town in Jada local government area of Adamawa state.
It has also been stated that he is the only child of his parents after his only sister died at infancy. According to him, his father was a Fulani trader and farmer, and his mother was the second wife of his father. So it can be assumed that he probably had step brothers and sisters. Where are they? Nigerians have not heard or seen any of them.
There is a curious twist to the Atiku Abubakar story, so much so that one is tempted to ask questions about his sincerity of heart and purpose as regards his nationality. Is he a Nigerian or a Cameroonian? This debate has raged on for a while, and from all that has been stated, it is most likely that case that Atiku Abubakar is not a Nigerian after all.
There are various reasons as to why I have come to this conclusion. For a start, I will use the Nnamdi Kanu narrative. Atiku Abubakar is from Jada town in the Adamawa State of Nigeria. According to history, Jada used to be in Ganye Local Government Area in Adamawa. Ganye is regarded as the mother of the whole Chamba tribe. First suspicion. Atiku Abubakar has stated in numerous forums that his father Garba Abubakar was a Fulani trader and farmer.
However, Jada is regarded as the mother of the whole Chamba tribe. The Chamba people are an African ethnic group found in northeast Nigeria and neighbouring parts of north Cameroon.
The Chamba people were one of the targets of Fulani jihads in the 18th and 19th century. They were enslaved, and many migrated souths into the mountains. They retaliated becoming raiding bands who attacked slave and trading caravans. So there is a question mark on the posturing by Atiku Abubakar that his father was Fulani. I ask, what was a Fulani man supposedly doing in the bosom of Chamba people?
Atiku Abubakar’s father was never a Fulani man; he was from one of the mountains in Cameroon and a trader who came to Ganye for trading en route Kano. The historical account states that it was on one of those trade trips that he met Atiku Abubakar’s mother, Aisha Kande. The consequence of their meeting resulted in Atiku Abubakar even without the knowledge of his father. It was also said after a while Atiku Abubakar’s father suffered some business misfortunes and consequently stopped coming to Ganye. And that made it impossible for Aisha Kande to intimate him of the birth of his son.
Going by this narrative, Atiku Abubakar grew up knowing only his mother and that was why he has always pushed the narrative that he was the only child of his parents and how they tried unsuccessfully for other children. The interesting thing about the Atiku Abubakar story is that it has various versions. Atiku has told of two versions; his official Wikipedia page also has another version of who Atiku Abubakar is.
Consequently, one begins to wonder if ever it would be possible for Atiku Abubakar to be without siblings (step brothers/sisters) cousins, and other extended relatives. In my opinion, there is more to the mystery surrounding Atiku Abubakar. I stand to be corrected; if indeed he is from Nigeria, there would be no way the nation would not have known or seen one or two relatives. But in the case of Atiku Abubakar, it has been just him and his mother. And he took the craft to another level by also stating that his mother’s only sister was also childless. Hear him: “After my father’s death, the task of raising me fell on my mother, Kande, and her childless sister, Azumi, as well as my father’s extended family members in Kojoli.”
Again, this statement is suspect because Atiku Abubakar in his years in government has never carried out a single charitable project in Ganye or Kojoli, yet he claims he is from that region. Those conversant with the Kojoli narrative have severally questioned its correctness. Those from Kojoli would readily tell you that Atiku Abubakar’s father has no roots in Kojoli. As a fact, he Atiku Abubakar himself does not know him or what he looks like.
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo corroborated this much in his book My Watch. He said of Atiku Abubakar “What I did not know, which came out glaringly later, was his parental background which was somewhat shadowy, his propensity to corruption, his tendency to disloyalty, his inability to say and stick to the truth all the time, a propensity for poor judgment, his belief and reliance on marabouts , his lack of transparency, his trust in money to buy his way out on all issues and his readiness to sacrifice morality, integrity, propriety truth and national interest for self and selfish interest.”
These are indeed strong words to use on any individual. But with such statement coming from former President Olusegun Obasanjo, especially on his parental background leaves more to be imagined. This also lends credence to the fact that indeed there is something about the nationality of Atiku Abubakar.
I would conclude that there may be more to the unveiling of Atiku Abubakar in the weeks and months ahead. But one thing I have been able to establish is the fact that not only is Atiku Abubakar not a Nigerian, he sees Nigeria only as a source of revenue to be able to finance his profligate lifestyle in Dubai.
What Nigerians might not also know is that if indeed Atiku Abubakar is a Nigerian, there would have been in the least traces of his paternal relatives. But in this instance, he has been all alone because his relatives and siblings are scattered across the Anglophone part of Cameroon. But for how long are we going to be fooled by Atiku Abubakar?
Dr. Shehu is a lecturer of political science and contributed this piece from Manchester, United Kingdom.