Atiku Reveals why He Cannot visit US, claims Buhari Was Banned for 15yrs

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari was barred from the United States for 15 years due to his religious views.

Atiku was quoted as saying this during an interview with Dele Momodu, which was part of his weekly column titled, ‘Pendulum’, published in The Boss Magazine

Buhari had, at a seminar organised by the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria in August 2001, said, “God willing, we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of the Sharia in the country. I will continue to show openly and inside me, the total commitment to the Sharia movement that is sweeping all over Nigeria.”

Atiku, who was one of the notable voices that opposed Buhari at the time, said Buhari was actually barred from travelling to the US for 15 years as a result of his position on the Sharia issue.

The former vice-president was responding to a question on why he avoided travelling to the US.

Atiku stated, “It is the sole prerogative of America to determine who they want in their country or not. I’m not running away from America. I applied but wasn’t issued a visa. However, they did not decline me categorically.

“They’ve only said my application is going through an administrative process. This is not peculiar to me. For about 15 years, Buhari could not enter America on account of religious considerations.

“The current Indian Prime Minister, Modi, suffered the same fate for years. Today, he is being accorded a red carpet treatment in America. I fly to different parts of the world, including Europe. If America wanted me, it would be so easy for them to reach out to their allies…”

Your claim, a fictive concoction, Presidency replies ex-VP

But the Presidency, in its reaction on Saturday, described the claim by Atiku that Buhari could not enter the US for 15 years as a “fictive concoction.”

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said this in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja.

Adesina said it was mind-boggling that a person of Atiku’s calibre, who should know the truth, was spreading the lies.

The statement read, “This fictive concoction, being spread as truth, is mind-boggling, coming from a former number two man of Nigeria, who should know the truth.

“At no time was President Buhari, as a private person, ever forbidden from entering any country in the world.

“Rather, the rest of the world has always held Muhammadu Buhari as a man of sterling qualities, strong on integrity, transparency and accountability. The same testimony is still borne of the Nigerian President by many world leaders today.

“It is curious that former VP Abubakar had been asked why he had not visited America for over a decade, something that had been a stubborn fact dogging his footsteps. Instead of answering directly, he begged the question, saying Buhari also had been disallowed from entering the same country for 15 years, before becoming president.

“We hereby make it resoundingly clear that what the former vice-president said only exists in the realm of his imagination.

“If he has issues to settle with the American authorities, he should do so, rather than clutch at a straw.”

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