*Is PDP his last bus stop? May be not
Alhaji Abubakar Atiku will be returning to the party after defecting to other parties. He was a founding member of the PDP in 1998.
1999-2006: He was elected governor of his home state, Adamawa, in 1999 on the PDP ticket. Before he could be sworn in as governor, he was picked as running mate by Olusegun Obasanjo who secured the PDP presidential ticket. The ticket proceeded to win the presidency, with Alhaji Atiku becoming Vice President from 29th May, 1999 and for a second term in 2003.
2006-2009: Before the end of their second term, however, Alhaji Atiku left the PDP for the first time in 2006 and joined Action Congress (AC) after years of bitter internal battle with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
The influence of Atiku in the PDP was systematically eroded through fresh membership registration that saw most of his supporters pushed out of the party, all in a bid by Chief Obasanjo to ensure that he was not nominated as his successor.
Atiku thus defected to pick the AC ticket to run for president in the 2007 election. He was in AC from 2006 to 2009. Following disagreements with one of the leaders of the AC and former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, the former vice president dumped the AC and returned to the PDP in 2009.
2009-2013: Atiku ran for the PDP presidential ticket in the 2011 election and lost to incumbent Goodluck Jonathan. Following the success of the PDP in 2011 and the appointment of Bamanga Tukur as the national chairman of the PDP, the party was engulfed in a serious crisis.
Alhaji Atiku alongside seven governors eventually staged a walk out of a PDP national convention in August 2013, accusing the leadership of the party and then President Jonathan of impunity. They eventually formed the ‘new PDP.’
2013-2017: After efforts to reconcile with the Bamanga Tukur-led PDP failed and their push to stop Dr Goodluck Jonathan from running for election also failed, Atiku and five of the governors and others announced in November 2013 defected to the APC.
Atiku and a former Kano State governor who was also in the ‘new PDP’, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, ran for APC presidential ticket and lost to Muhammadu Buhari who eventually won the 2015 election.
Atiku remained in the APC but has been consistently absent in many of the party’s activities at the national level. The former vice president had complained that President Muhammadu Buhari and the party had been side-lining him.
November 2017-???? Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, a former Customs officer, eventually defected from the APC on Thursday, 24th November. He is reported to have extracted the commitment of the PDP to give him its platform to again run for president in 2019. He joined the party at the ward level in his place in Jada in Adamawa state.
Changed bus stop again: There is one clear fact, Atiku will contest in 2019. There may be chances that he will remain in PDP or still flow into a new party depending on the outcomes as the days float. It would be recalled that he had announced in September 2014 that “as for me, as far as I am concerned, APC is my last bus stop.”
Atiku may still change bus stop after the last movement. Time will tell.