Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari was barred from the United States for 15 years due to his religious views.
Atiku was quoted as saying this during an interview with Dele Momodu, which was part of his weekly column titled, ‘Pendulum’, published in The Boss Magazine.
Buhari had, at a seminar organised by the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria in August 2001, said, “God willing, we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of the Sharia in the country. I will continue to show openly and inside me, the total commitment to the Sharia movement that is sweeping all over Nigeria.”
Atiku, who was one of the notable voices that opposed Buhari at the time, said Buhari was actually barred from travelling to the US for 15 years as a result of his position on the Sharia issue.
The former vice-president was responding to a question on why he avoided travelling to the US.
Atiku stated, “It is the sole prerogative of America to determine who they want in their country or not. I’m not running away from America. I applied but wasn’t issued a visa. However, they did not decline me categorically.
“They’ve only said my application is going through an administrative process. This is not peculiar to me. For about 15 years, Buhari could not enter America on account of religious considerations.
“The current Indian Prime Minister, Modi, suffered the same fate for years. Today, he is being accorded a red carpet treatment in America. I fly to different parts of the world, including Europe. If America wanted me, it would be so easy for them to reach out to their allies…”