US ‘ban’ on Buhari lifted only after electoral victory ― PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organization has accused the All Progressive Congress (APC) of making political capital out of Atiku Abubakar’s trip to the United States, reminding the ruling party that President Muhammadu Buhari was barred from the country for 15 years but only allowed in after he won the election.

A statement issued by the spokesman of the organisation, Kassim Afegbua, in Abuja on Sunday, said the PDP presidential candidate’s trip afforded him the opportunity to interact, engage, and robustly discuss a wide range of issues affecting the country.

It read: “Ordinarily, one would just have ignored this drab, incongruous and empty rhetoric of a statement by the Buhari Campaign Organisation but for those undiscerning members of the public, it is appropriate to put certain records straight.

“First, the Buhari Campaign Organisation has made political capital out of this issue of the USA’s denial of visa to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. In most of their campaigns, the factional National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and other chieftains had boastfully told their rally audiences that Alhaji Atiku could not travel to America.

“When the news came that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was to be issued a visa, the APC shamelessly sponsored and orchestrated a public protest to the Abuja office of the USA Embassy, on a day that the Americans were observing the public holiday.

“The APC has repeatedly made this trip an issue, even when they realised that president Buhari, was banned for 15 solid years from travelling to America.

“The ban was lifted in 2015 after he had won election as president, and till date, he cannot travel to America except he obtains a waiver from the US State Department. Even though we do not see any big deal about Atiku Abubakar’s trip, we see a bigger deal in the nature and content of the trip which afforded our candidate the opportunity to interact, engage, and robustly discuss a wide range of issues affecting our country occasioned by the lacklustre and incompetent leadership of President Buhari’s emanations.

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“As a presidential candidate with an eye for the future and place of Nigeria in the commity of nations, it is his responsibility as an effective and results-driven leader to globalise issues that have held us down by the ineffective APC and President Buhari’s leadership. When the President visited the White House in the US, he literarily brought home a de-marketing “gift”, decorated with the inscription, “lifeless president”, to the consternation of all.

“Rather than speak to the challenges confronting us, he was busy defending the herders that had turned our landscape to killing fields with rivers of blood flowing across the states of the Federation. He signed away $496m for twelve pieces of Tucano fighter jets when Pakistan and Afghanistan got higher quantities for the same price.

“That president Buhari’s trip gave early warnings about the phlegmatic leadership that the country was to face. Two years later, we are not only faced with a government that has been outsourced but one that is rotating in circles, dominated by “two old men” that are holding the presidency by the jugular, gasping for breath as it were to keep the nation afloat. The APC and the Buhari Campaign Organisation cannot possibly understand the dynamics of global politics, reason why they couldn’t place their leprose fingers on the positive outcome of the US trip of our candidate.

“Alhaji Atiku Abubakar did not only engage with an array of American businessmen, he had robust engagement with members of Congress and Nigerians in diaspora who have since keyed into the moving train of “Atikulated” campaign to rescue the country from this mentally hollow leadership that has brought hunger, poverty, malnutrition, deprivation and stagnation across the land.

“The government has not only made us mourners on our land, but they have also converted us all to internally displaced persons in search of relief materials. Killings, bloodletting, kidnappings and armed banditry have become notable items on the menu of this government. How would such a government understand the import of Atiku Abubakar’s trip to the USA? How? How?

“Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s trip was well captured across the world in major news platforms. He did not only grant interviews, but his itinerary was also well-laid out in a manner that explains his sense of organisation, discipline for time, and coordination. Having been caught napping by this trip to deflate the often held wrong notion that Atiku Abubakar could not travel to America, a notion which the APC promoted to the level of a campaign issue, they are yet to recover from their High Blood Pressure occasioned by this political mileage. It is therefore understandable why they are dithering and trying to rake up mud to distract and divert attention.

“For a campaign organisation and a government that cannot showcase its achievements in four years other than blame game, it is no surprise that they would make Atiku Abubakar the issue in their campaigns. This government does not only exhibit crass incompetence and under-performance, but its blurred content, low mentality, drifting psychology, and psychedelic world-view have also plunged Nigeria and Nigerians into leadership atrophy.

“Rather than face the huge challenges that stare us in the face as a by-product of outsourced leadership, the Buhari Campaign Organisation is trying to divert attention away from the nepotism, cronyism, hypocrisy, and selective amnesia that have become the thematic focus of this administration.”