Atiku Abubakar
Atiku Abubakar

A senior member of Nigeria’s ruling party on Friday played down the influence of a trip to the United States by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who is the presidential candidate of the country’s biggest opposition party the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Lai Mohammed, a senior member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Minister of Information and Culture, told media in Abuja that the government is not perturbed one bit that Abukakar was able to secure visa to the United States.

Abubakar’s media aide Paul Ibeh confirmed on Thursday in a statement that Abubakar had traveled to the United States. It is his first time in the United States after a 12-year visa ban.

According to local media, his inability to travel to the United States was due to a federal summons for his arrest in a corruption case that dates years back to when he was in government.

Abubakar has been seen as the main challenger to the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, who is seeking a second term.

Mohammed recalled that he advised the U.S. government against issuing visa to Abubakar.

“As a matter of fact, he can go ahead and get the U.S. Green Card. That will not save him from imminent defeat in the forthcoming election,” Mohammed told reporters.

The minister said Abubakar should know that the elections will be right here in Nigeria and not in the United States.

Earlier, Mohammed told reporters that the former vice president has questions to answer over slush funds that led to the collapse of former Bank PHB.

He said there is fresh evidence as to Abubakar’s involvement in the collapse of Bank PHB, which he owes the electorates and Nigerians an explanation. Enditem

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