Protest at US Embassy in Abuja over Atiku’s Visa

A group of civil society organisations under the aegis of Forum of Non-Governmental Organisations In Nigeria have stormed the US Embassy in Abuja to protest against granting American Visa to Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The protesters carried placards as they marched to the embassy, calling on the officials at the Embassy to tread with caution on the matter.

Addressing the protesters, Comrade Wole Badmus, Convener and National Chairman of the group, said they had formally written to the United States Embassy against granting the visa request by the former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.

Noting that issuing the visa would portray the US as endorsing his candidature, he said: “This is apart from the tacit and covert electoral gain such can confer him as the general correct perception in our country now is that Atiku is being denied American visa because of proven cases of money laundering and financial crimes against him.

“Sir, you may recall the outcome of the US Senate Permanent Sub-committee on Investigations chaired by Carl Levin. The committee submitted its report on 4 February, 2010. It is equally interesting to note that the probe was motivated by the US government’s concern about corruption in the Third World and its corrosive effects on the development of honest government, democratic principles and the rule of law.”

Badmus explained that there is a nexus between corruption and failed state, stating that the World Bank estimated that $1trillion in bribes alone exchange hands worldwide each year.

The ruling All Progressives Congress had earlier cautioned the US embassy against granting visa to Atiku, saying it could be seen as taking sides ahead of the poll.

But reports later emerged that Atiku had obtained the visa and is scheduled to travel to the US next year.

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