Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who has recanted his disdain for his former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, is reported to be lobbying the American Government to withdraw the ban reportedly placed his former foe from entering the U.S. The All Progressives Congress (APC) also accused Obasanjo of making moves to secure United States entry visa for the 72-year-old 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
81-year-old Obasanjo fell out with Atiku Abubakar before his exit from office as President in 2007 because of quarrel over his third term bid which his then Vice President Abubakar opposed. The former Nigerian Army general who was President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007 on the platform of current opposition PDP also publicly denounced the party, just as Atiku Abubakar also did. Obasanjo also lampooned Atiku Abubakar in his latest book, but they have all swallowed their vows and found solace in the same party they had renounced and castigated because of the gang up to prevent President Muhammadu Buhari from a re-election.
The new romance of the duo which has sparked interest among some political pundits is getting deeper, a gang-up against Africa’s anti-corruption czar. Mr Yekini Nabena, the APC ‘s Acting National Publicity Secretary, said in Abuja on Friday that Obasanjo has gone further to lobby the United States to lift the sanctions placed on the candidate for 2019 presidential election of PDP.
“We have come across credible reports that former President Olusegun Obasanjo has made moves to secure United States entry visa for the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.“ He recalled that the entry ban was placed on Atiku following a $500,000 bribery scandal in 2005 that involved Atiku, his fourth wife, Jennifer, and former United States Congressman, William Jefferson. Obasanjo had on Thursday endorsed the candidacy of Atiku who was the Vice President when he was in office.
Nabena, however, stressed that former Obasanjo’s intervention in Atiku’s ban from the United States of America was evidence of “his legendary hypocrisy and self-serving interest in national affairs“. He noted that Obasanjo during and after leaving office, had always insisted on Atiku’s unsuitability to govern Nigeria based on his knowledge of his extensive corrupt practices while he served as Vice President. “Recall that the former president while in office had deployed enormous resources of the country on a global dragnet coordinated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in getting Atiku prosecuted for corrupt enrichment and money laundering.
“A report by the U.S Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Senator Carl Levin reported that Atiku used offshore companies to siphon millions of dollars to his fourth wife in the United States, Jennifer,“ Nabena said. This, he said, happened while Atiku was still the Vice President of Nigeria between 2000 and 2008. He added that it was on the strength of the report, that President George Bush barred Atiku and other corrupt politically exposed persons from being issued visa to the United States.
This, the APC spokesman said was the reason Atiku had not been able to travel to the United States till date.