US Visit, Bank PHB: FG should bury its head in shame, says Atiku

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Former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has mocked the federal government over its failed bid to get the United States government to deny him visa, saying with or without a trip to America, the PDP will dislodge the President Muhammadu Buhari led All Progressives Congress, APC, in next month’s election.

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He also dismissed as cock and bull story, the allegation by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Friday that he has a case to answer over the collapse Platinum Habib Bank, Bank PHB.

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In a statement issued late Friday, Special Assistant on Public Communication to the former Vice President, Phrank Shaibu said the government should bury its head in shame having failed to stop his principal from travelling to the US.

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He said it was shameful that the ruling APC took it upon itself to call on the authorities of another country not to grant a private citizen entry visa, which ordinarily should not be its business.

Lai Mohammed had at the hint of the US granting Atiku visa last year, cautioned the Americans not to contemplate the gesture as it might give the impression that the foreign power is supportive of the opposition party’s candidate.”

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But Atiku who arrived in the US on Thursday said the APC was jittery knowing that its government has failed, stressing that Buhari’s days as president of Nigeria were numbered.

He challenged the federal government to either prove his alleged corrupt activities, or keep its peace.

According to the statement, “It is disgusting to continue to spin allegations of corruption against me by people who have failed to come forward with a single shred of evidence of my misconduct while in office. Isn’t it a shame that the ruling party whose National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole only yesterday gave official confirmation to the general belief that, even if Lawrence Anini becomes an APC member today, Buhari will forgive and consecrate him can turn around to accuse me of corruption today?  They just suddenly woke up to the reality that, their lies about Atiku being corrupt can no longer hold? I challenge the federal government to come up with evidence that I benefitted from N156 million slush funds through Claremont Management Services Account on 13th January, 2009 as well as the collapse of Bank PHB as they have alleged.  It is instructive to note that, the same BankPHB is now Keystone bank which was said to have been acquired by Buhari’s cronies through Assets Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON last year.”

“Tell them that their days of deceit are numbered. Nigerians are tired of them and they can no longer lie or take the people for a ride anymore,” the statement added.

Atiku said it was a mark of the idleness of the folks in charge of the APC that they resorted to lobby the US to deny him visa, when they should be busy strategising on how to save their party from an imminent defeat. “I am shocked that the minders of the governing APC can be lobbying the US to deny me visa, when no other party is in a bigger mess than the APC following the confusion arising from its unprecedented record of non-performance,” the statement said.

*Photo L-R: Atiku, Buhari

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