Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has confirmed his arrival in the United States.
In a post on Twitter, he said: “Just arrived Washington D.C for meeting with US government officials, Nigerians living in D.C metropolis and the business community. -AA”, with a photograph, showing him clutching a bouquet of flowers, along with Senate President Bukola Saraki and a lady.
Atiku Abubakar will meet with the Nigerian business community in the U.S., according to a statement by his Media Adviser Paul Ibeh on Thursday.
According to the media aide, the former vice president arrived in the U.S. at 8:20 p.m. Nigerian time and 4:20 p.m. Washington D.C. time.
“Yesterday, Abubakar met with the business community in Lagos at an interactive session to unveil his plans to get Nigeria working again. “Thursday morning, he left Abuja accompanied by the Director-General of PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation and Senate President Bukola Saraki for the United States. “Atiku Abubakar will in the course of his trip hold meetings with the U.S. government officials, the business community and the Nigerian community,” the statement read in part.
Ibeh said the PDP Presidential Candidate was expected to return to the country on Saturday, Jan 19.
But the Embassy of Nigeria in Washington, DC, had said it was not sure if the former Vice-President would be visiting the United States any moment soon.
“we have not received any information for the embassy, but we are just trying to find out whether really he is coming. That is what we are doing right now.
“They told us he’s coming tonight, today, so we are trying to find out whether he’s really coming.
“Mr (Peter) Obi, (Atiku’s running mate), he was to come last week, but the event was cancelled.
“”So, we are still trying to see but if you get anything, please just let us know also because they said he’s coming here so that if you’re able to get any updated information, just inform us so that we can prepare vehicles to go to the airport and meet him and all that.
“For now, we have no information. If I am able to confirm anything, I will get back to you and please, if you too get any confirmation or any update, just get back to me, just call me.
“As a former Vice President, the Embassy is supposed to organise to receive him at the airport and all that, but then we have not received anything in that regards,” a source at Nigerian embassy in the US said.
Atiku’s running mate Peter Obi was billed to be in the U.S. last week and was scheduled to have a New jersey/New York Townhall but the event was postponed.
The PDP vice-presidential candidate is now rescheduled for the New/Jersey/New York USA Town Hall Meeting at Robert Treat Best Western Hotel, New Jersey on Monday, January 21.
Atiku was said to have been issued last December with a US visa for the first time in 13 years. The visa was reportedly facilitated by his former boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo, a former foe, turned campaign endorser.