In a statement by his media aid, Paul Ibe said Atiku, the PDP presidential candidate, left Nigeria on Thursday, January 17, for the US. He was accompanied by the director general of the PDP presidential campaign organisation and president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki.
Ibe claimed that Atiku in the course of his trip, would hold meetings with US officials, the business community and the Nigerian community.
In reaction to this from the All Progressives Congress (APC) United Kingdom Chapter, Abubakar Atiku’s visit to the United States was an attempt by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate to score cheap political point. Ade Omole, leader, APC UK chapter stated this while reacting to the development in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, January 18, in Abuja.
Omole faulted the claim, describing the visit as a kangaroo trip meant to score cheap political gain. He added that Nigerians are wise enough to read between the lines and could not be hoodwinked by such untoward arrangement.
“Abubakar Atiku certainly has reasons for not visiting the U.S in the past years, especially because of corruption allegation against him,” he said. He recalled that records at the US congress had it that Atiku engaged in money laundering through his wife who was resident in the country.
Omole maintained that Atiku’s entry into the US is a mockery of President Bush’s presidential Proclamation 7750 which affirmed denial of entry VISA to foreign officials involved in corrupt practices by the congress.
He, however, said that Atiku’s visit to America would not absolve him of the corruption allegation which had been hanging on him. Omole stressed that he does not object to Atiku or any Nigerian gaining entry into the US, especially when he meets the entry VISA requirements.
“Whether he visits U.S., or outer space, it doesn’t change anything in Nigeria, the electorate have already made up their minds to re-elect President Buhari for a second term come February 16”
Omole added that the questionable character of an individual no matter how highly placed he may be, does not evaporate by a mere visit to America. Omole said an individual with questionable character remains so no matter where he visited at any given time, especially if such visit is to score political point.
He noted that while Atiku is busy trying to prove himself clean from corruption allegations with his US visit, Buhari is busy campaigning to Nigerians on why he should be re-elected.
He added that the APC had continued to use its scorecard and achievements in all sectors to campaign to Nigerians on why Buhari deserves a second term in office to consolidate on his achievements.