2019 presidency: Saraki speaks on Atiku ‘disguising as his aide’ for US visit

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The Senate President, Bukola Saraki on Wednesday refuted claims that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, was able to travel to the United States because he posed as his aide.

Social media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, Lauretta Onochie, had on Friday alleged that Atiku was not arrested in America upon making his first trip to the country in over a decade, because he entered as an aide of Saraki.

She quoted the US Department of Africa Affairs as saying “We cannot apprehend Atiku NOW because of our diplomatic ties with Nigeria, He’s booked as an Office Aide to Nigeria’s Senate President”.

But in an interview on AIT’s breakfast programme – Kakaaki, Saraki described the allegation as a desperate, ridiculous and ‘nonsensical, insisting that Atiku’s visa was not on account of him (the Senate President).

He said, “These are desperate claims. When you are campaigning and you see that you have suffered a setback, just move on and don’t make a fool of yourself. To say the candidate travelled on my merit is not true.

“He applied for his visa, was given the visa and he was invited to attend functions. How do you do that? How do you travel as an aide? That is ridiculous! They know it. It is very difficult for them to respond because they have sold a lot of propaganda and lies to Nigerians.

“I remember when we sat a lot of young people down when we started and introduced him (Atiku) as our candidate and they said they would support him because he has a good agenda for the youth and knows how to create jobs but the concern was that the government said Atiku could not travel to America and how can we have a President that cannot travel to America?

“And he (Atiku) always said it was not a problem but it was important for us to address the problem and put it behind us and because the other party was using it as propaganda, we decided to go to America and instead of them to keep quiet and move on, they say he went as my aide.”

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