Abubakar is from Minna in Niger State today. After attending school in Minna and Bida, he attended the Technical University of Kaduna. He resigned on October 3, 1963, first in the Air Force and then joined the army. From 1964 to 1966 he was the education in Germany. He then participated in the Biafran war. 1975 and 1977 he attended courses in the USA.
Between 1969 and 1979 he was commander of the third Mechanized Brigade in Kano. After a deployment of UN peacekeeping force UNIFIL in Lebanon in 1981 and 1982, he was promoted to colonel in 1984. Later he was a German point of division in Enugu and was appointed to the ruling military council Armed Forces Ruling Council ( AFRC ). He was posted to Kaduna and was given command of the first mechanized division. While the military government of Ibrahim Babangida, he was chief of intelligence. On November 17, 1993, he was chief of staff.
Abubakar had largely kept out during his military career out of political affairs. After the sudden death of Sani Abacha on June 8, 1998, he was determined the next day despite his failing health at this time as his successor. He continued rapid democratization program in motion to allow the replacement of the existing military government since 1983 by a civilian government. The political prisoners were released and with the help of international mediators was trying to convince the winner of the annulled presidential election of 1993, Moshood Abiola, to withdraw his claim to the office. Abiola died but suddenly on July 7, 1998. According to the election of Olusegun Obasanjo in the presidential elections, the handover took place, as announced in the summer of 1998, held on 29 May 1999.
He was after his term of different countries and organizations awards for Nigeria's return to democracy and was repeatedly entrusted with diplomatic tasks. He was appointed Special Envoy of the United Nations in the Democratic Republic of Congo in August 2000, three years later he was sent the West African Economic Community ( ECOWAS) as a mediator to Liberia to end the protracted civil war.
Abubakar is married. His wife Fatima was working at the time when he took office as head of state, as a judge. He has three sons and three daughters.