APC says Obasanjo lobbying US authorities to withdraw Atiku’s entry ban

Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of APC
Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of APC

The All Progressives Congress, APC, says it has reports that former President Olusegun Obasanjo is making moves to secure United States entry visa for Alh. Atiku Abubakar, the 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Yekini Nabena, the APC acting national publicity secretary made this known in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

“We have come across credible reports that former President Olusegun Obasanjo has made moves to secure United States entry visa for the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alh. Atiku Abubakar,” he said.

The APC spokesman added that the former president was also lobbying the US authorities to withdraw the ban reportedly placed on Atiku from entering the US.

He recalled that the entry ban was placed on Atiku following a $500,000 bribery scandal in 2005 that involved Mr Atiku, his fourth wife, Jennifer, and former United States congressman, William Jefferson.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr Obasanjo, had on Thursday, endorsed the candidacy of Mr Atiku who was the vice president when he was in office.

Nabena, however, stressed that Mr Obasanjo’s intervention in Mr Atiku’s ban from the United States of America was evidence of “his legendary hypocrisy and self-serving interest in national affairs“.

He noted that Mr Obasanjo during and after leaving office, had always insisted on Atiku’s unsuitability to govern Nigeria based on his knowledge of his extensive corrupt practices while he served as Vice President.

“Recall that the former president while in office had deployed enormous resources of the country on a global dragnet coordinated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in getting Atiku prosecuted for corrupt enrichment and money laundering.

“A report by the U.S Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Senator Carl Levin reported that  Atiku used offshore companies to siphon millions of dollars to his fourth wife in the United States, Jennifer,” Mr Nabena said.

This, he said, happened while Mr Atiku was still the Vice President of Nigeria between 2000 and 2008.

He added that it was on the strength of the report, that President George Bush barred Mr Atiku and other corrupt politically exposed persons from being issued visa to the United States.

This, the APC spokesman said was the reason Mr Atiku had not been able to travel to the United States till date.