Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar visited former President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina State, yesterday, where the two held a closed-door meeting with some associates, including Senator Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the immediate past governor of Sokoto State.

Details of their discussions remain undisclosed, but some analysts view the visit as a strategic move by Atiku toward his 2027 presidential bid.

However, Atiku’s Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, clarified in a statement that the former vice president was on a condolence visit to Katsina State. The statement read: “Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate in the 2023 election, led other party stakeholders to Daura to offer condolences to the family of the late former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Lawan Kaita, over the loss of their matriarch.”

The visit, warmly received across Daura Emirate, also included courtesy calls to the Emir of Daura, HRH Alhaji Farouk Umar Farouk, and former President Buhari. Atiku’s trip to Katsina was described as a continuation of his post-Sallah courtesy visits and condolence calls to the family of his late friend, Mallam Lawan Kaita.

Atiku also visited the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir Usman.

Just days earlier, the former vice president visited former military leaders Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar in Minna, Niger State. AbdulRasheed Shehu, an aide to Atiku, stated that the visit to Buhari was part of Atiku’s Sallah homage to elder statesmen, following his earlier visits to the two former heads of state.

This marks the first official courtesy visit from Atiku to Buhari since he left the APC. Both leaders had collaborated in the 2015 elections to unseat then-President Goodluck Jonathan, but their alliance only lasted for the first two years of Buhari’s administration. Atiku departed from the APC in 2017, citing the party’s failures, especially regarding youth representation in the federal cabinet.

Atiku’s visit to Buhari is considered historic, as it is their first formal meeting since their fallout in 2017. Their previous public encounter was at Buhari’s son’s wedding in 2021. The visit is also seen as a strategic political move by Atiku, coinciding with his efforts to form a coalition of opposition parties to challenge the Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led APC government in 2027. This push gained traction after Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate in the last election and Atiku’s 2019 running mate, paid him a courtesy visit.

An associate of Atiku, who requested anonymity, confirmed that the visit was strategic, involving discussions about the recent and upcoming elections, and the current economic situation. The associate highlighted that despite the cordial nature of the visit, the relationship between Atiku and Buhari remains distant.

Similarly, Tambuwal, who left the APC in 2018, was a significant figure in Atiku’s emergence as the PDP presidential candidate for the 2023 election. His support against his ally, Nyesom Wike, the then-Rivers State governor, was pivotal in Atiku’s victory in the PDP primaries.

Renowned political analyst, Professor Kamilu Sani Fage, suggested that Atiku’s visit might have deeper political motives related to the 2027 presidential election. Fage noted that while political differences exist, maintaining relationships among leaders is important. He pointed out that Atiku’s recent visits to prominent figures could be part of his strategy to strengthen his presidential ambitions.

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