Atiku has formally defected to the PDP but he still has his work cut out for him.
Atiku made his defection to the PDP official on Sunday, December 3, 2017. We knew he was going to return to the PDP all along so there were no surprises here.
In Atiku’s words; “Some of you may know that I was elected as the vice-president under the banner of the PDP, which is the political party I had helped to found some 10 years before.
“And some of you may also know that I left the PDP four years ago when I believed it was no longer aligned to the principles of equity, democracy and social justice upon which we had founded it.
“Today, I want to let you know that I’m returning home to the PDP as the issues that led me to leave it have now been resolved and it is clear that the APC has let the Nigerian people, especially our young people, down”.
In outlining his mission statement, Atiku promised to create millions of jobs as president. He also said the APC has been a scam.
The APC, Atiku says, “has not been the change people had been promised or voted for”.
So, there you have it. Atiku is now a PDP member all over again, after running away from the party in 2013. He’s back and he’s propelled by one singular goal in mind—become Nigeria’s president.
But Atiku isn’t likely to be handed the PDP presidential ticket on a platter. There are a host of other PDP candidates who’ll be slugging it out with him.
Chief among those is PDP caretaker Chairman Ahmed Makarfi who welcomed Atiku’s defection with a wet blanket.
“By the time I leave as caretaker committee chairman on December 9 or 10, there will still be ten months to the party primaries. By any law or the party’s guidelines, I’m not excluded”, Makarfi said.
Essentially, Makarfi has indicated he’ll be contesting the PDP presidential ticket. Atiku will also have Alhaji Sule Lamido, Ayo Fayose and Ibrahim Shekarau to contend with, alongside others who are still amassing financial war chests in the background.
PDP Governors may also be wary of throwing their weight behind Atiku who they now regard as a newcomer—the sort of newcomer who was watching from the sidelines when the PDP was going through a crisis, only to return with an eye on the cooking pot after the major hard work had been done.
Some sections of the PDP regard Atiku as the kind of guy who wants to reap where he hasn’t sown and who shouldn’t be welcomed with open arms just yet.
Atiku therefore has his work cut out if he intends to become president on the PDP platform. He’s got plenty of money to throw around though; and that may eventually swing the pendulum in his favour.
But let no one fool you, the PDP isn’t going to hand Atiku the ticket just for showing up at the eleventh hour.