The Buhari Media Organisation says U.S. lobbyist were paid millions of dollars to secure an American visa for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, said this in a statement jointly signed in Abuja on Tuesday, describing the effort as another chapter in PDP’s “book of corruption”.
The organisation said that the PDP had itself claimed it would be paying Brian Ballard, who is believed to be close to U.S. President Donald Trump, the equivalent of N400 million over a one year period to ostensibly lobby Washington on behalf of its candidate ahead of the 2019 Presidential election.
The group added that even if Trump’s friend convinced the U.S. authorities to clear the path for Atiku to finally enter the U.S., it would not clear the allegation of corruption scandals that over the years stuck to it.
According to the group, Nigerians were not prepared to easily forget how the PDP Presidential candidate’s name featured in high-profile sleaze probe, ranging from that of the Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) to Siemens during his 8-year tenure as Vice President.
“Not even a close ally of Trump can wipe clean a slate of corruption that took years of intense begging for his former principal to reluctantly accept his apology but which he still wants him to seek the forgiveness of Nigerians”.
The group, however, stated that it was not surprised that a party with credibility problem should think the solution to its problem was in throwing money around.
“These are people that have been conditioned to see dollar rain as solutions to local credibility problems.
“Coming soon after they had shared wads of dollars among party delegates; they did not feel bad spending more to boost the economy of Dubai where they have been holding strategy sessions.
“The same people have signed a deal of 90,000 dollars a month to secure an American visa for a morally challenged presidential candidate.
“They are busy boosting businesses in other countries, yet they are running a presidential campaign with the theme of ‘making Nigeria great again. How ironic!” BMO added.
“We want Nigerians to see the difference between President Muhammadu Buhari whose party does not need to spend money in any currency to whitewash his image and that of a candidate that needs to pay the equivalent of N400 million to clean its image in just one country.”