Atiku is still a big name in northern politics, and he has not lost the political bug.
He has already lost bruising fights with his former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, while he was vice-president and again in the manoeuvring that followed the death of President Umaru Yar'Adua in May 2010.
Governor Murtala Nyako has since pushed Atiku out of his Adamawa power base.
With Obasanjo now out of love with President Goodluck Jonathan and Nyako in combat with People's Democratic Party chairman Bamanga Tukur over who will anoint a successor in Adamawa State, a gap is opening up.
Atiku has been making some big set-piece speeches, calling, for example, for a return to two-party politics and the introduction of state police. He may well be on the move.