A storm of reactions by Nigerians has greeted Atiku Abubakar‘s visit to the United States after 13 years.
Naija News had reported that Abubakar, a former Vice President of Nigeria, arrived at “God’s own country” on Thursday, January 17, having departed Nigerian on Wednesday evening.
The visit came after the United States had in late 2018, issued the PDP Presidential candidate a visa.
Abubakar took to the micro-blogging site, Twitter to confirm his visit, saying he arrived at Washington D.C for meeting with US government officials and Nigerians living in D.C as well as the business community.
The PDP Presidential candidate tweeted: “Just arrived Washington D.C for meeting with US government officials, Nigerians living in D.C metropolis and the business community. -AA.”
Abubakar, who is widely travelled, has not been to the United States in 13 years, a situation which has fueled speculations that the Wazirin Adamawa might be avoiding possible arrest or prosecution.
The political opponents of the former Vice President including the All Progressives Congress (APC) have on several occasions used his absence from the US not just to taunt but to discredit him.
Naija News reports that Abubakar’s row with the US authorities began after the FBI investigated a bribery scandal involving William Jefferson, former US congressman, in 2004.
The PDP Presidential candidate was accused of demanding a bribe of $500,000 to facilitate the award of contracts to two American telecommunication firms in Nigeria.
The FBI, a domestic intelligence and security service of the United States, had searched his residence in the posh neighbourhood of Potomac, Maryland, but no money was found.
The investigators had videotaped Jefferson, who was the congressman representing Louisiana, receiving $100,000 worth of $100 bills which he claimed was meant for Abubakar, but the PDP Presidential candidate has consistently denied the allegation.
Moments after it was confirmed that the PDP Presidential candidate has finally visited the US, Nigerians took to the micro-blogging site, Twitter to air their opinions on the visit with some mocking Buhari in the process while others said the visit is of no benefit to Abubakar ahead of the Presidential election.
Naija News captured some of the reactions below…
#AtikuInAmerica is a wonderful development for @Atiku, however, once the Presidential election is over and he loses, his waiver expires and he won't be able to visit again… He might as well make the most of it while he's here…
— Mr. Aye Dee (@MrAyeDee) January 17, 2019
We bring you LIVE action from Stamford Bridge AMERICA
Atikulate FC has consolidated its position at the Top of the Table with a Huge Away Win in America
While Lifeless FC is battling with Relegation at Ogboru "Presidential" Stadium Warri. #AtikuInUs
— Ebube The Statesman (@akaebube) January 17, 2019
Buhari: Tell EFCC to freeze twitter…
— Adetutu Balogun (@Tutsy22) January 17, 2019
Atiku woke woke up in akure on Tuesday, drove to campaign stops in Ilesha, Osogbo, Ile-Ife all in Osun, went to Ibadan in Oyo and then flew to Lagos where he held several meetings.
And tonight we trend #AtikuInAmerica
Nigerians: #LGNWA with a President full of life.
— Demola Olarewaju (@DemolaRewaju) January 17, 2019
— F.O (@fodewunmi) January 17, 2019
The APC campaign was built around a huge cornerstone of "@atiku cannot go to the US."
— Igala_king (@I_Am_Ilemona) January 17, 2019
I'm expecting this from e-APC tomorrow:
1. Atiku paid $100Million USD to lobbyists to enter USA.
2. Atiku/PDP lounge at Trump Tower Hotel to avoid arrest by FBI.
3. If Atiku lose he won't be able to go to USA again.
4. I don't know the technology use to enter US!#AtikuInAmerica
— Oladeji Stephen (@RealSaintSteven) January 17, 2019
— Adetutu Balogun (@Tutsy22) January 17, 2019
Apparently the US is worried about Buhari’s admin, I wonder what the rest of the world thinks.
Atiku is in US to discuss a way forward; consider this our first sensible representation in the US market since 2015.
The other visit was a lifeless one.#AtikuinAmerica #LGNWA
— Somto Onuchukwu (@chosensomto) January 17, 2019
— EDWARD Israel-Ayide (@wildeyeq) January 17, 2019
Kai, This laughter. It can pain oh!!! #AtikuInAmerica ?????? Kai… Alhaji Lai and his lying minions should check their blood pressure tonight abeg…?????♂️??♂️??♂️??⚕️??⚕️ pic.twitter.com/IdixETVPQD
— HeyLagos! (@heylagos) January 17, 2019
— CONFIDENCE (@realNCNC) January 17, 2019
— Chidi Okereke (@Chydee) January 17, 2019
Hope you're okay? Just checking on you after #AtikuInAmerica trended. Please take heart and stay close to family members tonight.
— POLITICAL PATHOLOGIST (@vicbrown212) January 17, 2019
— TwITta PsYcHoLogiSt (@kabasa007) January 17, 2019
— Sola Atikulated Kuti (@SKSolaKuti) January 17, 2019
— Collins (@TrueNaijaGuy) January 17, 2019