Atiku sneaked into US, Keyamo alleges
In spite of its declaration that the recent visit of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was a non-issue, the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC), has continued to squeal against Atiku Abubakar’s trip.
The APC at the weekend alleged that the former vice-president sneaked into the United States of America.
Director, Strategic Communications, APC Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, (SAN) in a statement last night claimed that the PDP presidential candidate sneaked into America under a “special diplomatic waiver”.
Keyamo further claimed that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s itinerary during the visit was shrouded in secrecy to his media aide in Nigeria and “the international media and correspondents required for such high profile visit.’
He said: “The visit had all the trappings of a fugitive sneaking into America under a “special diplomatic waiver”. For the candidate of the major opposition party in Nigeria, it is an absolute disaster that the visit was not announced ahead of time in Nigeria, with his programmes and itinerary clearly spelt out, the decent and customary minimum standard of such visits.
“This culminated in his close aides issuing conflicting statements about the visit when he was already on his way there. In fact, one of them called Paul Ibe actually spoke to the press that his principal was nowhere near America! Such was the secrecy of the planning and execution of that visit.
“It is shameful that a presidential candidate of a major opposition party in Africa’s most populous country would visit America, and the international press was kept in the dark: There was no single press conference with the array of international media and correspondents required for such ‘high-profile’ visit. Atiku knows he has no moral stamina to withstand the avalanche of hard questions bordering on his sordid past in America.
“In fact, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar claims he visited the Voice of America (VOA) but only did two carefully-packaged interviews with the Hausa service and the English to Africa program – platforms that have always been available to him back home.
“How strange! In fact, both the Twitter handle (@VOANews) and official website of VOA did not mention any such visit of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to their station. For news hounds, you would agree with us that such an ‘important personality’ cannot walk into a news premises without reporters swooping on him. Whatever he went to do in the premises of the VOA must have been a carefully-arranged private visit for the photo-ops, which was intended to scam Nigerians. What more evidence do we need of a “sneak-in-sneak-out” arrangement than this?”
The Director, Strategic Communications, APC Presidential Campaign Council further argued that, “for a candidate who claims he wants to “get Nigeria working again” (a meaningless phrase) to sneak into America without meeting major players in private businesses is a curiosity and an indication that we are dealing with a candidate with a dodgy and questionable character. He claims he went to the U.S Chamber of Commerce, which is supposed to be a business federation. Again, the Twitter handle (@USChamber) and the website of the organisation made no mention of the visit of such an ‘important personality’ to them.
“It is also an anomaly that the candidate of the major opposition party in Nigeria sneaked into America and did not meet large sections of political leaders of similar ideologies and persuasions towards which he claims to be inclined. For all his claim to be going to America to meet “U.S Government officials”, he only succeeded in meeting a certain “Congressman Smith”, who is the equivalent of a member of the House of Representatives in Nigeria.
“You would agree with us that as dignified and respected as the office of a Member of the House of Representatives is, an important personality cannot come to Nigeria on an official visit and claim he has met the “Nigerian government officials” after he pays a private visit to that member. For all we know, Congressman Smith may just be a private friend of Dr Bukola Saraki or Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
“That reminds us of Atiku’s famous legislator friend he threw under the bus, Williams Jefferson, who taught us how to hide laundered money (which was meant for Atiku Abubakar) in the deep freezer when the cops came knocking on his door!”
“For the information of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his handlers, Nigerians know that Nigeria is already working again for everyone and not for a few. As confirmed by him in a town-hall meeting a few days before his disastrous trip to the U.S, he said he wants to “get Nigeria working again” only for few of his friends who he claims he wants to make rich.
“If he cannot get them rich now from his private businesses, it is obvious that he is referring to the use of public funds to make his friends rich. Nigerians should judge for themselves whether this is the type of President they want.”