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2027: Is Atiku on the move again?

THE recent actions by Nigerian former vice president Atiku Abubakar have generated a lot of buzz in the political space with many asking if he is planning to contest for the presidency again in 2027.

The ICIR reported that Abubakar is the only politician in Nigeria who has sought the presidency the most times and has yet to win it.

The suspicion surrounding his interest in the presidency in 2027 followed his recent visit to three former presidents within the past week.

On Wednesday, June 19, he visited former military heads of state, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar in Minna, the Niger State capital.

In a post on X, the Adamawa state-born politician said he visited the former military leaders at their residences to pay them aSallah homage”.

He also visited former President Muhammadu Buhari barely three days after he visited Babangida and Abubakar.

Atiku visited Buhari in Daura
Atiku visited Buhari in Daura

Abubakar was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 presidential poll.

He came second in the election, behind President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and was trailed by the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Peter Obi. 

Obi was his running mate in 2019 when they jointly sought the presidency on the PDP’s platform before parting ways in the build-up to the 2023 election. 

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In May, Abubakar hosted Obi in Abuja where they had a private discussion.

Also in May, the former vice president said the PDP would determine his fate in 2027, an indication that he is most likely to throw his hat in the ring again!

However, the former vice president assured that he would support Obi if the PDP backs his candidature in the next election.

The ICIR reports that the recent visits have raised questions on Abubakar’s real intention with many suggesting they are part of consultations for the 2027 general election.

His supporters’ reactions on social media whenever he makes these visits are also instructive, with many of them hailing him as their next President.

According to The ICIR’s earlier report, Abubakar has had two more shots at the country’s most exalted office than former President Muhammadu Buhari, who ran four times before winning it.

Abubakar had contested for the top office for 31 years and had had his hopes dashed. 

In the election conducted on February 25, 2023, he came second with 6,984,520 votes, behind Tinubu, who polled 8,794,726. 

While he has failed in all six times he has contested for the seat since 1992, Tinubu only contested once and won.

It remains unclear if Nigerians will be willing to elect him in 2027, should he contest, because he would be 80 years old by then.

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Atiku’s loss in the last election arguably stemmed from his rift with five aggrieved governors in his party and not jointly seeking the office with Obi as he did in 2019.

The ICIR reported how the crisis between Abubakar and the aggrieved governors in the PDP lingered weeks before the poll.

The former Rivers State Governor and current Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, led the governors, known as G-5. Others were Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu)

Wike had contested for the PDP’s presidential ticket and lost to Atiku in May 2022.

Since losing the 2023 poll, Atiku has emerged as one of the major critics of Tinubu’s administration.

In January, Atiku advised Tinubu to resign if he could not handle insecurity challenges in Nigeria.

Atiku said this in a post on his X handle, as the nation continued in its insecurity slide under the President.

He decried the numerous incidents of kidnapping and other attacks that had occurred across Nigeria in the past months.




     

     

    The ICIR reports that Abubakar may ride on the wing of the current hardship, occasioned by the suspension of subsidy on petrol and other harsh economic policies of Tinubu’s government to stand as a major contender for the presidency in 2027 if he seeks the office for the seventh time.

    Commenting on Abubakar’s recent moves, a PDP member, Dokun Ojumo, told The ICIR in a chat that he believed the politician’s efforts were geared towards contesting the 2027 presidential election.

    According to Ojumo, Atiku’s chances will be very bright in 2027 if he hires a good media team to help him push his agenda.

    “In 2023, his manifesto and intentions did not get to most people. He should go big on social media in 2027,” Ojumo stated.

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    Bankole Abe
    Reporter at ICIR | [email protected] | Author Page

    A reporter with the ICIR
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