Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has been reportedly issued a visa to visit the United States of America.
The former vice president who last visited the US 13 years ago, on Saturday night received a US visa.
Atiku was accused of demanding a kickback of $500,000 to facilitate the award of contracts to two American telecommunication firms in Nigeria. The accusation came following an investigation by the FBI involving a former US congressman, William Jefferson.
According to the former VP, he had made attempt to visit US but was denied visa on administrative grounds.
“I applied, but wasn’t issued a visa. However, they did not decline me categorically either. They’ve only said my application is going through administrative process,” he said
“It is the sole prerogative of America to determine who they want in their country or not. I’m not running away from America,” he added
His former boss, Olusegun Obasanjo, who recently forgave him and endorsed him for Nigeria presidency come 2019 reportedly played significant role in the issuance of the visa.
The Nigerian government in a statement issued by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had cautioned the US against issuing visa to Atiku, saying that it could be seen as endorsement for his presidential ambition.
A statement the US consulate in Lagos responded by saying that Atiku visa issued was private, adding that politicians should focus of issue-based campaign.