The federal government said on Friday that the visit to the United States of America (USA) by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Vice President, Mr. Atiku Abubakar, would not stop his imminent defeat in the next month month presidential elections.
Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents in Abuja, said government was not bothered about the trip because it is the prerogative of the US to issue or deny visa to applicants.
“We are not perturbed one bit. The visit to US will not save him from imminent defeat in the forthcoming election. Election will be held here not in the US.
“We have stated, publicly, our stand on the issue of US visa for Atiku. However, just as we stated at that time, it remains the prerogative of the US to issue visa to anyone it deemed fit.
“Let me say, however, that even if the former VP likes, he can go ahead and get the US Green Card. That will not safe him from an imminent defeat in the forthcoming elections. Need we remind Alhaji Atiku Abubakar that the elections will be held here in Nigeria, not in the United States,” he said.
The minister said the PDP presidential candidate has questions to answer when he returns from his trip to the United States regarding his role in the collapse of former Bank PHB, now Keystone Bank.
“I have fresh evidence that he benefitted from slush funds that led to the collapse of Bank PHB. The papers I have shows that he benefitted to the tune of N156 million. It started from an internal memo dated 13 January 2009, asking that a draft in favour of Atiku Abubakar of 156 million should be raised,” he said.
He said government has enough proof of the account mandate, cheque and statement showing the PDP presidential candidate as the signatory to the account that received the money.