President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman has described as ‘fictive concoction’, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar’s claim that Buhari was banned from entering the United States for 15 years, before he became president.
Atiku was said to have made the allegation in an interview published Saturday.
He was quoted to have said that the Nigerian leader could not enter the US “on account of religious considerations.”
Mr. Femi Adesina, President Buhari’s media adviser debunked the allegation as mere fiction.
“This fictive concoction being passed off 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 American authorities, he should do so, rather than clutch at a straw.”
President Buhari is at present in Jordan to compare notes with other world leaders on the war against terrorism.
Atiku gave the interview to The Boss newspaper published by Dele Momodu.
“For about 15 years, Buhari could not enter America on account of religious considerations,” Mr. Abubakar said in the interview.
Mr. Momodu had asked Mr. Abubakar why he had not been able to visit the United States for many years, amid speculations that he is wanted in that country over some financial transactions.
Atiku, who is nursing a presidential ambition, said the U.S. authorities have nothing against him.
He said he was able to visit Europe regularly without being arrested for onward extradition to the U.S.
Then he dragged Buhari into his response when he said he would be allowed into the United States just like Buhari and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after becoming leaders of their respective countries.