This has always been the weapon his opponents have decided to use against his candidacy. Goading him with his inability to enter the US owing to some allegations yet unproven of financial impropriety against him.
The believe is that Abubakar Atiku had engaged in some nefarious activities which contravened US laws leading to the conviction and jailing of his alleged partner who was a US congress man at some point. This issue has continued to dog the reputation and ambitions of the PDP front man. To the point that his now supporter but sworn enemy had used this issue amongst several issues as justification for his continued lack of interest in Atiku, both as a person and as a candidate. He went further in several commentaries and even his books labelled Atiku as tainted and was quoted once as saying that God will not forgive him if despite all he knew about Atiku he still went ahead to support him.
Well, OBJ must have found a way to pacify his God for he has come out to endorse Atiku and decidedly push to support him.
However, ever since Atku’s emergence as the PDP Presidential candidate, his problems with the US authority have always been bandied and used as a major reason why we should not consider him worthy of the position especially in this era of a fight against corruption. His inability to enter the US in the last 15years, the issues with one of his wives, Jennifer I believe, the conviction of his one-time associate all have formed a veritable weapon being effectively utilized against his ambition.
Read also: PMB, APC and the Integrity Question
Surprisingly he has fallen for this very irrelevant bait. That he cannot enter the US to me is a non issue at this point. When he emerges the President that would be sorted. But agreeing to be pushed and goaded into risking it all and considering travelling to the US shows a major weakness in my mind’s eyes of the Atku machine.
As I write, we are getting feelers that he did not succeed in entering and that he could not secure a guarantee from the US State Department that he would not be arrested. If this is true the he has used his own hands to cast a huge dark cloud on his credibility and by extension on his candidacy.
Thankfully, they have come out to say that he never went to the US but went on a private visit to the UK. I have aso seen a report purportedly from the US embassy that no visa was issued in the first place.
As I await better details, I must say that Atiku with this issue, if true, may have handed over to his many enemies a major weapon for his destruction. Who will stand by a man running from the law anywhere in the world? Who would want a leader who is seen as a fugitive by no other country than the US who is a major trading partner to Nigeria and a major influencer in global politics?
Can Nigeria survive a major strain with a country like the US in an Atiku Presidency? His matter gets worse when you consider the present no nonsense government of President Trump who at best of times looks at countries like ours as a lost cause.
Now you see why in an earlier piece I had talked about this election being one of lesser evil. We are stuck with two hobbled candidates being resented by the two mainstream platforms and a myriad of political lilliputians who are using these elections to perfect their jaundiced nursery rhymes in the name of seeking the Presidency
What does all these portend for our immediate future? Your guess is as good as mine. Disaster. So we are going to either end up with a continuation of this lackluster leadership or get a new President with a major credibility and image problems. The much vaunted third leg is filled with political neophytes who are just jumping around like flies on an elephant.
Atiku if you ask me,?whether the US story is true or not, should not bother himself with such. Afterall, the President of Kenya has his own problems with the International Court at The Hague. His immunity settles that. Atiku should focus on the electorates. The US with all its influence cannot overturn the wishes of the people. I am extremely confident that he would be embarrassed if he ventures to leave the country for the US and that would in itself throw us into another round of crises.
Lesson learnt here is that he who wants to come to justice must come with clean hands. We are really tired of leaders with these kinds of funny pasts throwing themselves up knowing fully well that if not criminal would be exposing themselves to blackmail.
We are not looking for angels or saints but at least out of 180million people we can surely find people with clean academic and criminal records to throw up. These ones just leaves a sore taste in the mouth.