By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – Demonstrators under the platform of Forum of Non-Governmental Organizations in Nigeria (FOGON) on Wednesday urged the US government not to grant entry visa into its country to former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, over his alleged involvement in bribery.

They stormed the US embassy in Abuja to present their reasons in a letter to the consulate titled: “The Imperatives of Rejecting Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s Visa Request,”

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar,

The protesters, who were dressed in uniform orange T shirts and faze caps, bore various placard with inscriptions such as “No issuance of politically motivated visa to Atiku,” “Nigerians say no to America’s interference in the nation’s politics,” among similar write-ups.

Atiku, who is also the 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had been accused of involvement in a bribery scandal for which an American Senator, William Jefferson, was jailed in 2009.

Leading the protesters, the National Convener of the Forum, Comrade Wole Badmus, argued that granting visa to Atiku on the eve of the 2019 presidential elections makes a mockery of United Nation’s Convention against corruption.

He also said doing so would violate the American Patriot Act which makes the acceptance of foreign corruption proceeds a US money laundering offense.

Badmus warned that if the US, which is considered as a global seat of democracy, rule of law and transparency grants it visa to an allegedly political criminals in Nigeria, the country would have aided him to score a cheap political goal.

The letter, which was read before armed guards at the US Consulate, said in part: “It was with highest level of discontent that we received an update of purported granting of entry visa to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to the United States of America last Friday.

“We were jolted that America being the bastion of democracy, rule of law and transparency in public administration can debauch into the abyss of being used by discredited and renowned financial criminals in our country to score cheap political goals.

“However, our melancholic state transmuted into that of ecstasy upon establishing that such info was just a hoax and an attempt to test the water of public opinion in the eventuality of such request being undeservedly granted

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“We write to officially and strongly advise the United States embassy against granting this request as doing so has the capacity if portraying the great American state as being supportive of illicit transactions and gross abuse of public office for personal aggrandizement.

“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 an Atiku is being denied America Visa because of proven cases of money laundering and financial crimes against him.

“It also makes a mockery of the United Nations Convention against Corruption enacted in 2003 in which USA played an active role in its enactment and presently ratified by over 40 countries. It is also against the spirit of investigative group dedicated to combating foreign corruption by Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) formed in 2003 by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“Finally granting such request makes a mess of a president Bush Presidential Proclamation 7750 denying Us visa to foreign officials involved with corruption, and other supporting legislations by the congress.”

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