Mr. Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party presidential hopeful, has arrived Washington D.C. for US-Africa Summit, 12 years after he touched the country.
Atiku accompanied by Bukola Saraki, Nigeria’s Senate President tweeted his arrival in the United States via his verified Twitter account.
The former vice president said he will be meeting with US government officials during his stay in America.
“Just arrived Washington D.C for meeting with US government officials, Nigerians living in D.C metropolis and the business community,” he tweeted with his signature AA.
Just arrived Washington D.C for meeting with US government officials, Nigerians living in D.C metropolis and the business community. –AA
Saraki did not preside over the plenary on Thursday, as a result of the trip, while the PDP rally in Ogun State was also cancelled.
The Atiku Campaign Organisation had done all within its reach to keep his travel under wraps till the weekend.
Sources, however, revealed to TheCable that the former vice president had plans to meet the US business community and Nigerians in the country.
He is expected to speak at a roundtable hosted by the US chamber of commerce and the US Africa Business Centre on Friday.
PREMIUM TIMES reported last year that Mr Abubakar sold his estate in the United States, following his inability to enter the country. He denied that his inability to enter the U.S. informed the sale, saying he only sold the mansion because he no longer needed it as he was now fully based in Nigeria.
After a long break, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his deputy, Atiku Abubakar, seemed to have renewed their hostilities in 2013.
Obasanjo insinuated that ex-Vice President Atiku is corrupt, saying he was investigated by his administration following alert from the United States.
Mr Abubakar’s visa appeared to have come through the intervention of Mr Obasanjo in 2018, with whom he recently settled decade-old dispute ahead of the 2019 elections.
Mr Obasanjo wants President Muhammadu Buhari out of office, after accusing him of displaying incompetence in the face of myriads issues confronting the country.
U.S. authorities made it clear that Mr Abubakar was issued visa without preconditions, meaning he would not be detained or harrassed in any way if he entered the country, according to party insiders.
Mr Abubakar received a U.S. visa last December, sources said.
The ruling APC warned the US government against granting Mr. Atiku bAbubakar a visa, saying it could tip the outcome of the upcoming presidential elections.
Mr Abubakar, however, kept his cool, refusing to join issues with the opposition party, until Thursday when he quietly entered the United States.