Contrary to the reports circulating in some section of the media that the United States has granted visa to the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, after 13 years ban, INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER authoritatively reports that he was never given visa.
An embassy source told INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER that U.S. position on Atiku has not changed.
A family source confirmed to INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER that Atiku only traveled to the UK and is also back in the country.
The family source said Atiku did not even apply for visa from the U.S. embassy as reported in the week.
It will be recalled that the Federal Government had on Thursday advise the U.S. not to grant Atiku visa saying that it would mean endorsing him for the 2019 election.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the government position at an interactive session with media executives in Abuja on Thursday.
Mohammed had said that the government was aware of the move by the former Vice President to lobby the U.S. to lift the visa ban imposed on him.
He said, while the U.S. has the prerogative of whom to issue visa, it should be mindful of the timing, in order not to give the impression that Atiku has been endorsed by the U.S. government.
“We understand and appreciate the fact that it is the prerogative of the U.S. to grant a visa to anyone who applies.
“However, we want the U.S. to be neutral and be wary of taking any decision that will give the impression that they are favouring or endorsing one candidate over the other
“Impression must not be created that the U.S. government is endorsing one particular candidate over the other,’’ he had said.