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EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: I did not travel to the US - Atiku Abubakar

The Peoples Democratic Party's presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar has denied report that he had travelled to the United States of America. A report in The Cable had claimed that presidential candidate of the main opposition had reportedly been granted a United States visa.
However, in a reaction, Atiku media aide Paul Ibe who spoke to Leadership denied reports he had travelled to the US but added the politician had gone on a private visit to the United Kingdom.
He said Atiku is back and preparing for his campaign which starts on Monday December 3 in Sokoto state.

According to an earlier report which appeared in The Cable on Saturday, December 1, Atiku was said to have recently got the visa and is expected to travel to the United States of America.
The report which quoted a family source had confirmed the acquisition of the visa but said he has yet to travel to the US.

Atiku was reported to have left for the United Kingdom where he reportedly would be for some time before his purported US visit. While the report of US visit was denied by Paul Ibe, he did corroborate the UK visit but added it was a private visit. He further confirmed that Atiku was since back to the country for his campaign in Sokoto state.
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo and Atiku's one-time boss was alleged to have played a big role in getting the US to grant Atiku the said visa.

While the reports of Atiku's UK-US travel is still the subject of controversy, secrecy and intrigues , could not immediately independently verify the authenticity of the report until the latest denial.
However, the report comes just days after the
federal government of Nigeria told the US to be cautious in granting visa to Atiku Abubakar, in order not to create the impression of endorsing him for the 2019 election.

The minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, had gaven the government's position at an interactive session with media executives in Abuja on Thursday, November 29.

Mohammed said that the government was aware of the move by the former vice president to lobby the US to lift the visa ban imposed on him. Atiku's camp had been confident of him getting the visa.
Recall reported that former senior special assistant on public affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe,
revealed that Atiku Abubakar would be travelling to the United States of America by the end of November .
Okupe, who is a former spokesperson to former president Olusegun Obasanjo, disclosed this on his Twitter page on Sunday, November 4.
Not long ago, also reported that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) alleged that former president Obasanjo was working on how to get an American visa for Atiku .
The party said in a statement signed by its acting national spokesman Yekini Nabena on Saturday, October 13 that it has information that Obasanjo is trying to get the US to lift Atiku's entry ban into that country.
The APC said Obasanjo's move to help Atiku enter the US where he is allegedly banned from entering because of a purported corruption case, is evidence of the former president's hypocrisy.

Atiku, the presidential candidate of the PDP and a former vice president of Nigeria for eight years on the same political platform between 1999 and 2007 has been involved in a controversy over his inability to go to the United States.
Atiku was reportedly indicted in a corruption case that involved one of his wives Jennifer and some transaction with his American University of Nigeria in Yola, Adamwa state.
Although FBI searches of his property in the US did not turn up anything suspicious, he was said to have been issued a travel ban to the US and the matter has since hung over his political career.


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