Finally, Atiku secures US visa

The coast is now clear for presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Atiku Abubakar, to visit to the United States following issuance of a visa to him.

It was learnt that Abubakar had received the visa to enable him travel to USA, which he last visited about 13 years ago.

Abubakar on Tuesday appeared at the US Embassy in Abuja, where he was interviewed and his fingerprints taken.

Sources close to him told one of our correspondents in Abuja on Saturday night that Abubakar was delighted with the issuance of the visa.

Atiku had stopped visiting USA after FBI investigated a bribery scandal that involved a former US congressman, Mr William Jefferson.

The former Vice President was accused of demanding a kickback of $500,000 to facilitate the award of contracts to two American telecommunication firms in Nigeria.

During the investigation, FBI searched Atiku’s residence in Maryland, but it was gathered that no cash was found.

Despite Atiku’s claim to innocence, the controversy had continued unabated with his opponents daring him to visit the country and see if he would not be arrested.

Atiku’s former boss, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, was said to have played “significant role” in the issuance of the visa.

The desire of Atiku to secure the visa had caught the attention of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress and Federal Government last week.

Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, had called on the US not to grant the visa, saying doing so now could be interpreted as endorsement for Atiku’s presidential ambition.

In a swift reaction, USA replied, saying Atiku’s desire to secure the visa was private.

Punch

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