By Stanley Onyekwere
An anti corruption and civil society group based in the Federal Capital Territory, Leadership and Accountability Initiative has petitioned the Embassy of the United States of America 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 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
However, the group in a letter addressed to the Ambassador sought to seek certain clarifications on the visa status of the former Vice President, stressing that such clarifications will restore the battered image of Abubakar.
The letter which was 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 US 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this claim, we wish to request the actual state of his visa status and to also request if his diplomatic status was revoked as a former Vice President.”