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17 Dec 2017

We Can't Talk About Buhari, Atiku Travel Ban - US

Following allegations of ban on Atiku and Buhari from entering the US at certain times, the US has refused to give clarifications on the allegations.
Atiku Abubakar and Muhammadu Buhari

The United States Government has explained why it will not deny or confirm an allegation by a former vice president,  Atiku Abubakar,  that President Muhammadu Buhari was barred from entering the US for 15 years.

Speaking through the Department of State, the American government also said it would not discuss the reasons Atiku is being denied entry into the US.

Two weeks ago, Atiku, in an interview with The Boss magazine, said the US had barred Buhari from the US for 15 years due to his religious beliefs.

The former vice president was responding to a question on why he avoided travelling to the US.

The Presidency had, however, debunked Atiku’s claim, stating that “at no time was President Buhari, as a private person, ever forbidden from entering any country in the world.”

In two email correspondence with SUNDAY PUNCH, the US authorities refused to confirm or deny the ex-vice president’s claims.

When the US Department of States was contacted on Monday to confirm why Buhari was barred from entering the US for 15 years and Atiku for “administrative reasons,” a US official said, “Due to US privacy laws, visa cases are considered confidential. We do not discuss specific cases.

SUNDAY PUNCH, again, sent another email on Tuesday, asking the American government whether it ever viewed Buhari as holding extreme religious views and if Atiku was free to apply for a US visa.

It also inquired how many politically exposed persons from Nigeria had been barred from entering the US since 1999.

“Unfortunately, I don’t have anything further to add at this time. Regarding questions about visas, due to US privacy laws, visa cases are considered confidential and we do not discuss private cases,” was the response of Nick Sadoski, a US official at the DoS.

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