Atiku Abubakar: Timeline of a serial defector

Atiku Abubakar
A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar

A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on Friday announced his withdrawal from the governing All Progressives Congress, APC.

In Friday’s announcement, Mr. Abubakar said he was still pondering his next political move. But if he ends up returning to the major opposition Peoples Democratic Party as he is widely expected to do, it will be the third time that Mr. Abubakar will be returning to the party after defecting to other parties.
He was a founding member of the PDP in 1998.


Mr. Abubakar 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 Mr. Abubakar becoming Vice President from May 29, 1999 and for a second term in 2003.


Before the end of their second term, however, Mr. Abubakar left the PDP for the first time in 2006 and joined Action Congress, AC, after years of internal battle with Mr. Obasanjo.

The influence of Mr. 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 Mr. Obasanjo to ensure that he was not nominated as his successor.

Mr. Abubakar 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.


Mr. Abubakar 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.

Mr. Abubakar 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.’


After efforts to reconcile with the Bamanga Tukur-led PDP failed and their push to stop Mr. Jonathan from running for election also failed, Mr. Abubakar and five of the governors and others announced in November 2013 defected to the APC.

Mr. Abubakar and a former Kano State governor who was also in the ‘new PDP’, Rabiu Kwankwaso, ran for APC presidential ticket and lost to Muhammadu Buhari who eventually won the 2015 election.

Mr. Abubakar 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 Mr. Buhari and the party had been side-lining him.

November 2017-???

Mr. Abubakar eventually defected from the APC on Thursday, November 24. Reports suggest that he has done so because he has received commitment of the PDP to give him its platform to again run for president in 2019.

The former vice president has, however, not formally declared for the PDP, nor has he declared he would run for the 2019 presidency although he is expected to do both.

Whether he will remain in PDP or his new party for long remains to be seen, given that he had announced on September 2014 that “As for me, as far as I am concerned, APC is my last bus stop.”


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  • victoria

    If PDP picked him as their candidate for 2019 presidency is another colossal mistake of the party and will further deep down bury PDP.

    • Iskacountryman

      thank you…i will vote for atiku instead of buhari…

      • duwdu

        …And your vote will surely end up being wasted. Just remember you heard it here first.


        • Iskacountryman


        • Abi Balogun

          Then, let it be wasted, I will vote for him too, why do we have to vote for a certain candidate because someone else is voting for him? So far Atiku has been the only one talking about any meaningful agenda among the candidates thinking about running for the job. I am not an Atiku person, but I think the man is sincere enough that he really wants to help direct the economy of the nation and we should give him a chance to do it, we gave Buhari the chance but he turned out to be something else.

          • curseless

            Voting for Atiku is like making an arsonist a fire sheriff. If Atiku is good at anything it will be looting.

          • Abi Balogun

            I gave Buhari a chance in 2015; I don’t see anything he had done so far except propaganda about past administration. President Obama, when he came in in 2008, met a whole lot of a mess in the economy but stepped up and did little he could do, and that was why people gave him the second mandate, but this government talks about corruption, but the people in this govt. Is not any better from the last, if you ask me, I will say this govt is even more corrupt than the last one because he added nepotism, ethnicity, and division in the equation.

          • curseless

            It is absolutely not realistic to compare Nigeria and America when talking about economy. It is like comparing apples and oranges and to me this is a mismatch. Nigeria is essentially a mono-economy and America is the largest economy on the planet backed by vibrant industrial base. When Obama came into office the whole world was he met economy that was expericing a big recession and yes, through a lot of hard work he was able to stabilize the drift because US economic base can absorb the shock. In Nigeria, the only thing which we depend on is petroleum which at the time Buhar came in was in a dire straights as prices have collapsed and then the incessant bombing of the pipe lines. For Buhari to get this far it is commendable and asking him to perform a miracle is not a serious proposition at all. Hefty money have been stolen from the treasury by previous administration and he was handed a fake report in the transfer document PDP handed over. For Nigeria to evolve and take her place under the sun the foundation must be rebuilt otherwise is will be going around in a viscous cycle where succeeding politicians will come in poach the treasury and leave. Can Buhari do certain things differently, yes, can he improve on his nepotistic tendencies, yes but to say he has done nothing is unfair to him. The government released funds severely to states to pay salaries but the money went into sink holes and it will be nice if people can learn to hold these governors into account. I can not swear to the integrity of any politician in Nigeria including Buhari, but I can say he is the lesser of two evils

          • Abi Balogun

            I appreciate and understand your point perfectly without the insults, most Buhari supporters would have added insults to the conversation. I wish we can debate the issues confronting our great country objectively without the insults. Thanks again for understanding my views about the issues.

  • Adams Oloreofe

    It’s the best news for today. Atiku’s return to PDP is a welcomed development. He wasn’t fully out of the PDP because we saw he was less active at the APC. he is the best man to return PDP to it’s glory days. Welcome back Turaki

  • Lami T

    Well, I wish for the day papers/ journalist will tell us Nigerians what we really don’t know, likes reasons what happens happened. All I know we are still finding our footings politically, and when people who have no understanding of democracy and leadership hijack the system we are left with failed parties. Am very happy with Atiku’s move, those hang on to a dead party are like vultures waiting for carcass. We will continue to change the change till we get it right. Atiku 2019.

    • Sir Louis

      Good point. Well articulated.

  • Iskacountryman

    atiku does not defect…he realigns…only a tree stands still in the forest when it hears the sound of the saw…

    • Gbola

      Sorry oh !
      But can Trees dash for escape upon hearing the sounds of Saw ??

      • Iskacountryman

        you are beyond redemption…

    • Suleiman Alatise


      • Iskacountryman

        do you expect me to answer you?…when the oracle speaks…listen…

  • Usman Tijani

    Atiku has been a man of the people and his return to the PDP speaks well. You can’t remain in darkness when you see light opposite you. PDP also needs him at this time and this is a great move.

    • raji

      Atiku defection is a blessing to APC because he is a liability to APC

      • Darlington

        When did you discover that? If he’s a liability as you said, while is Presidency quaking only because of one man who is yet to declare for Presidency? You guys are already in campaign mood when Atiku has not started.

        • tundemash

          Kid, the Presidency is quaking in your dreams !

    • Adam A

      Atiku has no political value . PMB has been beating him even in his home state Adamawa since 2003 when he was vp. Let him visit US or Britain first before he can even be taken serious. Good riddance to bad rubbish

  • babajide Balogun

    Whichever way you look at it, we have seen the best of Buhari. And clearly, his best is not good enough. Why do we have a problem if Atiku moves from APC to try his luck in another political party? There is a reason why we leave one employee for another.

    • Abi Balogun

      Good point bro!



    THE people of Uwheru community in Ughelli North Local Government area of Delta State have appealed to the Federal Government to come to their aid over an oil spill that is currently ravaging their community late October. The spill which occurred on a pipeline linking the Evwerni Well 8 & 9, was reportedly noticed by residents of Egbo quarters of the community on October 29. Umukoro (A representative of the community) explained; “Suspecting equipment failure, we contacted the company and they promised to do the needful but till date they are yet to and the spill is doing more damage to other adjourning farmlands in the area.”

    On the extent of damage by the spill, another community leader, Boggie Ogbe said: “At the moment, the livelihood of the community which is fishing and farming is in jeopardy because the spill which is on the stream in the community, has damaged aquatic life and is fast spreading to other areas.”

    All Brigadier Buhari cares about is the money from the Niger Delta and giving orders to Army to harass, rape, kill and molest civilians and protect the foreign oil company staff and not about the people who own the oil wealth. When there was oil spill at the Gulf of Mexico in US, President Obama personally visited and engaged Shell BP and the company had no choice but to clean up 100% and pay compensation. But in Nigeria Imam OLODO aka brainless and certificate forger does nothing. Niger Delta AVENGERS please and please come to our aid. We beg of you.

  • Dr Pat Mumuwole Awosan

    There is no way Atiku can win except he assembles supporters in the forests of North East and/or North central to terrorize, rape some herdsmen to do same all over Nigeria. Buhari has a lot of strategy working for him and until Atiku adopts those strategies of Buhari (Sorrows, Tears & Blood) of which Fela Anikulapo sang about, he would be engaging in an exercise of eternal futility.

    • Jon

      Check the records: $2.1 billion stolen or missing when he was Petroleum minister in 1977. $1.1 billion stolen or missing when he was chairman of Petroleum Trust Fund in 1997. Now, under his watch, $26 billion stolen or missing under the guise of contract award. Are these not a pattern of bad behavior that should have been punished in Western Civilized Societies? Look again the pattern of ethnic cleansing under his brutal and tyrannical regime.

  • wazobia decomposition !!!!!!

    serial ashawo ……..

    • aisha ani

      Correct !

  • atakamosu

    What is APC?


    Both Atiku and Buhari are a burden to Nigerians. PT, next story please.

  • Sean




  • Pure Reasoning

    Atiku cannot visit the United States of America because of the criminal/corruption case he is involved with and yet he wants to be the president of Nigeria. I pity PDP if they should hand him their presidential ticket as the party flag bearer. In fact, before he is allowed to run in PDP primaries, he should and must be made to visit the USA first.

    • Tunsj

      He can’t.

  • Leke

    APC is NOT Atiku’s ‘last bus stop’. I predict he will join PDP, lose their Presidential ticket, get frustrated, form his own party, attempt the Presidency under his own party again, fail, and finally bow out of politics. Nigerians will now refer to him as ‘THE PRESIDENT NIGERIA NEVER HAD’. Period!! All hail Atiku Abubakar!!!

    • Tunsj

      Please stop dreaming.

  • thusspokez

    Obasanjo vs Atiku — Atiku submits, capitulates and runs away.
    Tinubu vs Atiku — Again Atiku submits, capitulates and runs away.
    Jonathan vs Atiku — Again Atiku submits, capitulates and runs away.
    Buhari vs Atiku — Again Atiku submits, capitulates and runs away.

    As one could see, Atiku is a weak character, pushover and coward: He can’t even stand his ground and fight for what he believes in. His response to critical points in his life, as always, is to capitulate and run away (and join another party). He hasn’t got what it takes to be president of Nigeria. Other countries will find him a pushover.

    • Darlington

      You’re already on campaign mood. Atiku left APC, he has not officially declared for PDP let alone president, all of you are fidgeting. El-Rufai could no longer concentrate on governance in Kaduna State. Imagine what will happen when Atiku officially declares.

      Through all this while Atiku was in APC you never knew he was a coward? You’re an insufferable hypocrite!

      • thusspokez

        Throughout all this while Atiku was in APC you never knew he was a coward? You’re an insufferable hypocrite!

        What on earth are you gibbering about?

  • thusspokez

    How Atiku helped Buhari take off the heat

    Last week and this week have been damaging for the Buhari’s administration. The direct physical confrontations in Nigerian streets between the law enforcement agencies; the leadership vacuum and crisis; the revelation that the AGF had lied to senators over his role in reinstating the fugitive Mr. Maina, etc

    Clearly, Atiku and those around him are devoid of political strategy; if they were, Atiku wouldn’t make his announcement this week. The announcement has helped overshadow and even bury the bad news of the administration. It also succeeded in diverting some of the anger towards the Buhari’s adminsitration to Atiku himself.

    • atakamosu

      APC cannot win in 2019, regardless of any distractions. The same old recycled politicians scurry back and forth from one party to the other. No political ideologue, rather just seeking power to corrupt. Neither Buhari or Atiku will win the presidency come 2019. Change is coming and none of these old guard will be spared. Mugabe is gone in Zim for that matter. Why can’t we bring in a new breed, not the vindictive Tinubu or any other party jumper. AD to ACN to APC no difference.

    • Darlington

      Buhari government has been plagued with bad news since inception. Atiku couldn’t wait till eternity. Nigeria still remembers that almost 100 people died in Adamawa on Monday alone; Mainagate scandal still raging; EFCC/DSS facing exposing Buhari’s cluelessness; Nigerians suffering on the streets.

      • thusspokez

        Why are you repeating my comment instead of coming up with your own?


          Funny, I thought I alone noticed that.

  • Baba Jada

    Atiku is Right to leave the APC, it is apparent that his ambition
    cannot be met from within APC. More grease to your elbows Waziri,

    • K.C 2019


      Abubakar Atiku likely has more money than sense, for was he surrounded by thinking advisers
      his exit from the shambolic APC party would have resonated across Nigeria today as watershed
      moment rather than ridiculed as damp squib. Years after his failing outings in 2007, 2011, and,
      in 2015, Abubakar Atiku is none the wiser, even after those hilarious campaigns he’d launched
      without any direction. He now seems set to do the same thing in the same way and he expects
      a different result. This is the tragedy of our times; the continual black man’s dilemma of knavery.

  • Tunsj

    This guy switches positions more than a hooker in a cheap hotel.


      Most Nigerian politicians do the same.

      • Tunsj

        Agreed. Haven’t seen your posts for a while. Hope all is well.


          Bro…. I dey kampke, no yawa !!

          • tundemash

            And u have stopped asking for terrorist Kanu. Could be that u have finally found his hiding hole ?

          • Darlington

            You guys always looking to stoke ethnic tantrums. Can’t you make a refined comments?

  • Du Covenant

    It clearly means he has no backbone and desperately wants to be recognized by hook or crook!. May God help us from such imbeciles amidst!!!.

  • curseless

    Atiku is a rolling stone whose ambition is to become the head of state by all means. He is however doing more harm to his non existing integrity.

  • Wale

    Mr Perpetual Carpet Crosser. He will soon join PDP and defect in 2019 to another party. Continue to damage your reputation Uncle Atiku

  • Wale Bolodeoku

    Atiku is the ping-pong of Nigeria’s politics. And he hasn’t even got to his final bus stop.

  • Sir Louis

    There is nothing like serial defector. Politicians in all climes change political parties. In Nigeria, it is the culture. Any one criticising Atiku Abubakar for changing parties over the years should point to any politician of note in Nigeria who has never moved to two or three parties in the last decade. Please let us refrain from expecting different standards of conduct from different people in the same vocation and the same country. Ride on, Waziri Atiku. Power belongs to God. 2019 belongs equally to God.

  • Adam A

    Atiku has no political value . PMB has been beating him even in his home state Adamawa since 2003 when he was vp. Why would one who cannot visit US or Britain bcos of corruption want to lead us . Do u guys want USA to detain our “president” when he goes to address UN general assembly? Good riddance to bad rubbish!