Boxed into a corner by a journalist over an alleged ban that has kept him away from the United States of America former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has pointed out that even President Muhammadu Buhari was unable to also enter the country for 15 years for eligious considerations.
His latest comments seen as an allusion to perceived extreme religious leanings of the President in the years before he won the 2015 election has elicited an angry response from the presidency
“For about 15 years, Buhari could not enter America on account of religious considerations,” Mr. Abubakar said in an interview with Dele Momodu which was published in The Boss Newspaper Saturday.
The former vice president said if Nigerians elect him president, he would be allowed into the United States just like Mr. Buhari and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, both of whom are now being accorded red carpet treatments in the U.S. after becoming leaders of their respective countries.
Presidential spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, described Atiku’s position as a “fictive concoction being passed off as truth is mind boggling, coming from a former Number Two man of Nigeria, who should know the truth.”
He insisted that at no time was President Buhari, as a private person, ever forbidden from entering any country in the world.
He added: “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.”