Despite the widely-held belief that he is wanted in the United States for fraud, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar may be stepping on American soil earlier than imagined if the words of former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel are anything to go by.
According to Daniel, who is the former Director General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation, US officials have shown signals that they were willing to grant visa to Atiku.
He made this known on Wednesday, saying that the corruption perception about Atiku “appears to have been flogged”, as “there have been signals from the American officials that he should indeed come forward; they want him to come so that they would grant him visa”.
Daniel, who spoke on Politics Today, a Channels TV programme, in response to a question of whether Atiku was marketable because of his image before Nigerians, said, “This issue of corruption perception appears to have been overflogged[sic].
“I remember when we were running the campaign against the primary, and everybody kept confronting us with this perception; we kept saying the thing is no more than perception. Politically-motivated perception, which unfortunately appears to have stuck. But, by and large, I think as we move towards the real issues, people will begin to understand that all this is politically motivated.
“I have repeatedly said that we’re not in a Banana Republic. Nigerians, as a people, we know our weaknesses; anything that is negative about our leaders, we are ready to believe it hook, line and sinker. Until such a time when charges are pressed, then there are no issues as far as we are concenrned.
“More than anything else, if you look at newspapers in the last few days, we’ve had even statements issued by the State Department that they have no issue whatsoever with Atiku Abubakar; and if I may chip this in, I can also confirm to you that in the last few days, there have been signals from the American officials that he should indeed come forward; they want him to come so that they would grant him visa.”