Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has finally reacted to reports that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, recently traveled with him as his aide to the United States.
Recall that Atiku alongside Saraki, who is the Director-General of his campaign organisation, had visited Washington D.C where the PDP candidate reportedly held meetings at the U.S Chamber of Commerce and met with U.S government officials and Nigerians in the U.S capital.
There had been reports mostly on social media that Atiku’s visit to Washington D.C was possible only because he left the country under the pretext that he was an aide to the Senate President.
The rumours came against the backdrop of previous claims that the former vice president was barred from entering the U.S over his alleged involvement in the Williams Jefferson corruption scandal in the country.
But reacting to the rumours during an interview on AIT’s Kakaaki on Wednesday, Saraki described it as a “ridiculous” report that was sponsored by members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“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,” said the Senate President.
“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,” he said.