Thursday 12 September 2013

My US Visa Has Just Been Renewed, Ex-VP Tells Obasanjo


Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar replied yesterday to his former boss Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s allegation of corruption. He said his United State visa had just been renewed, contrary to the insinuations by ex-President Obasanjo.
He also said he had visited the United States since he left office in 2007, adding that he had been investigated by many agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States, but no allegation of corruption was found against him.
Atiku, in a statement through his Media Adviser Mallam Garba Shehu, said he had no case to answer either in Nigeria or in the United States.

The statement said: “The former President is wrong. It is widely known that Atiku didn’t enter government broke. He declared his assets at the commencement of his vice presidency and did so at the end of his term as required by the constitution, which is a sacred document to Atiku.
“Atiku, who is currently returning from China after leading a private economic trade mission at the invitation of the Chinese government, travels often and has a well-documented record of building industries and putting thousands of Nigerians to work. And this record, quite frankly, has been thoroughly investigated.
“Atiku has no case against him by any arm of the law in any country in the world, including the United States.
“President Obasanjo’s repeated ‘jokes’ about Turaki not being able to go to America have become a cliché, tiresome and not true.”
The Media Adviser insisted that Atiku visited the United States after leaving office.
The statement added: “In 2006, former President Obasanjo sent his National Security Adviser (NSA) to stop Atiku from travelling to the US, saying that the Vice President risked arrest on arrival.
“Turaki spurned that advice, left Nigeria to land at the Andrews Air Force Base, the official airport of the US government, to receive the best reception ever on a visit to America. So, we are used to those taunts.
“When the former Vice President left office, shortly before the late Musa Yar’Adua was inaugurated as President, Atiku spent three months in the US. If they (US authorities) wanted him for anything, they would have met him.
“It is time to start dealing in facts. Specifically, the fact that Atiku’s visa to visit the United States has been recently renewed.
“Another fact is that Atiku is one of the most investigated politicians in Nigerian history. And every investigation, whether politically-motivated here at home or by the FBI abroad, has yielded the same result every time: not guilty.
“If Atiku is guilty of anything, it is crushing persistent attempts at re-writing our constitution.
“Atiku has chosen the path of optimism and hope. Moving forward, he will continue working to fuel Nigeria’s economy through investment and job creation, while also passionately and persistently defending our young democracy.”

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