Written by Austine ELEMUE

Group Writes US Embassy, Demands Atiku’s Visa Status

An anti-corruption and civil society group, Leadership and Accountability Initiative, has petitioned the United States Embassy in Abuja over the controversies surrounding the visa status of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.  

It could be recalled that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had alleged that Atiku, who was his vice, cannot step foot in the United States because of what he termed Mr. Atiku’s status as a wanted person in the U.S.  

The group in a letter dated December 4, 2017 and addressed to the ambassador sought to seek certain clarifications on the visa status of Atiku, stressing that such clarifications will restore the battered image of the former vice president.  

The letter signed by the group's Director of Administration, Elder Chukwudi Ndem, and obtained by our correspondent, stated that the explanation given by the former vice president was not satisfactorily enough.  

The letter reads in part: "There have been strong indications in the public domain and especially from the former President of Nigeria, Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo, that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar cannot step foot in the United States because of what he termed Mr. Atiku’s status as a wanted person in the US. This yet-to-be-verified allegation has greatly damaged the public perception of the former Vice President. It has also continued to stigmatize his political aspirations since 2007.  

"However, in a recent interview with the publisher of Ovation Magazine, Mr. Dele Momodu, the former vice president stated that his reason for not having stepped foot in the U.S is because your embassy has continually denied him visa claiming administrative bureaucracy and bottleneck.  

"Following this claim, we wish to request the actual state of his visa status and to also request if his diplomatic status was revoked as a former Vice President".  

 

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