One Last Dance? Atiku Abubakar, PDP’s North Star

The journeys of PDP and Atiku, its two-time presidential flagbearer, are as interwoven as they are similar. The 2023 election will likely be their ‘last dance’ together, this author writes. Atiku has no doubt reshaped PDP, but have the years shown a match made in Heaven or a pairing doomed to fail?

Editor's note: This essay is available in our print issue, The Road to 2023. Buy the issue here.

One of the most viewed and highest rated documentaries during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown was The Last Dance, which focused on Michael Jordan and the victorious Chicago Bulls Basketball team of the early 1990s. Released in 2020, The Last Dance covered the rise, fall and subsequent redemption of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, which culminated in their third consecutive title, a ‘three-peat’, an achievement Jordan made for the second time in his career. The return to the pinnacle of the sport has helped cement Jordan’s legacy, keeping him and that Chicago Bulls team in the conversation for the best of all time.

Atiku Abubakar and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are in a similar position to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Having played a part in PDP’s earlier victories in 1999 and 2003, Atiku (as he’s commonly known) journeyed to different parties and returned, at different times, to PDP, a party he helped form. Atiku’s quest for the presidency, which began in 1993, is not yet over but his chances of achieving this are nearly up. It is fairly certain that the 2023 elections will be his last opportunity to become Nigeria’s president...

This essay features in our print issue, ‘The Road to 2023’ and is only available online to paying subscribers. To subscribe, buy a subscription plan here from N1,000 / month (students) and N3,500 / month (non-students). Already a subscriber? log in.