25 Reasons to Celebrate Atiku At 70 by Happiness Ofoegbu
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November 27, 2016 ( Post 1 )
1. Growing up without his father, he endured a childhood of hardship, forced to learn resilience at an early age.
2. At a young age, he developed a keen sense of responsibility, taking over the welfare of his mother and building her a house by the time he was in his 20s.
3. A love for western education and for personal development motivated him to attend school and learn against all odds.
4. A love for God extended his passion for education to studying the Qur’an, giving him a solid religious foundation.
5. Being an only child led to his passion for family and for family values, expressed in his devotion and attention to each of his 30 children.
6. As a teenager, he demonstrated exceptional courage and selflessness when he took part in resolving a knotty dispute in the school he attended.
7. His humility and friendly demeanour began to win him scores of loyal friends, the majority of whom have remained close to him from his youth till today.
8. In appreciation of his leadership role and peace-making efforts at the Kano State School of hygiene, he was unanimously elected as the president emeritus of the school’s student union.
9. His leadership ability was nurtured through active participation in school unionism and activism.
10. His belief in the strength of unity and togetherness over ethnic and tribal divisions has made him a converging point for visionary Nigerians of all tribes and tongues. Each of Nigeria's main ethnic groups (Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo) is represented in the place of origin of the four wives he is allowed by Islam to marry.
11. He is the highest employer of labour in his home state of Adamawa, northeast Nigeria.
12. Next to the state government, he is the highest employer of labour in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in south-south Nigeria.
13. For the past five years since the Boko Haram insurgency exploded in northeast Nigeria, he has made regular and continuous donations to the welfare of the victims of terrorism.
14. His desire to extend the immense benefits he gained from education led to his founding of a nursery, primary, secondary school, and later the American University of Nigeria, Yola, which is Africa's first development university.
15. He endured threat to life and property to fight against the military dictatorship of the late SaniAbacha.
16. The democracy that Nigerians enjoy today may have been snatched from beneath their noses if he had not intervened to block attempts by former president, OlusegunObasanjo, to seek a Third Term in power and possibly alter to constitution make way for no presidential term limits.
17. He has a long history of success in everything he does, leading some to describe him as having a Midas touch.
19. His initial agricultural entrepreneurship effort of decades ago was eventually strangled by unfavourable government policies but, not being one to ever give up, he did. It let his vision die. Over the past five years, he has set up successful feed-producing plants.
20. The immense wealth he generates from multiple business enterprises which span various sectors from oil and gas servicing to agriculture, have been spread far and wide. His generosity to individuals and organisations is legendary.
21. In his position as Vice President of Nigeria, he was initiated the birth of renowned national institutions such as the EFCC.
22. Never threatened by allowing others to shine, his sharp eye for detecting talent brought a number of today's well-known names in Nigeria to the limelight, such as NuhuRibadu and Nasir el-Rufai , among others.
23. Ever forgiving, he is always willing to let a slight or betrayal slide, even when from those he has helped to the top who then succumb to the sway of alliances from people who promise them heaven and earth as a motivation to turn against Atiku.
24. A godfather extraordinaire, the story of politics in Nigeria over the past two decades cannot be told without the mention of Atiku's name. Even those who hate his guts know that he must play a significant role for their ambitions to materialise.
25. Numerous witch-hunts and trumped up corruption charges have yielded no persecutions or indictments. With the God of truth and justice on his side, Atiku's enemies have continued to fail woefully in their attempts to nail him. And only recently the United State Department of Justice said it has no criminal case against him following media enquiry by Punch Newspaper. How many other prominent Nigerians could have survived the kind of vigorous smear campaign that he has endured?
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