How Buhari was ‘banned’ from entering U.S. for 15 years — Atiku

Buhari 2
President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari was banned from entering the United States because Americans had reservations about his religious views, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar said Friday.

Critics have long accused Mr. Buhari of holding religious views antithetical to modern democratic principles, a charge the president has repeatedly rejected.

In 2001, Mr. Buhari drew nationwide backlash when he was quoted as declaring support for the Islamic doctrine of Shari’a and as calling on Muslims to only vote for their fellow Muslims during elections. The president challenged the report saying he was quoted out of context.

He  has also repeatedly denied being an extremist, saying he tolerates other religions as much as he does his Muslim faith.

“For about 15 years, Buhari could not enter America on account of religious considerations,” Mr. Abubakar said in an interview with Dele Momodu which was published in The Boss Newspaper Saturday.

Mr. Momodu had asked Mr. Abubakar why he had not been able to visit the United States for many years, amid speculations that he is wanted in that country for a slew of sharp practices.

Mr. Abubakar, who is expected to run for president in 2019, said the U.S. authorities have nothing against him. He said he was able to visit Europe regularly without being arrested for onward extradition to the U.S.

The former vice president said if Nigerians elect him president, he would be allowed into the United States just like Mr. Buhari and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, both of whom are now being accorded red carpet treatments in the U.S. after becoming leaders of their respective countries.

Mr. Abubakar was named in at least one fraudulent deal in the United States, which involved contract award in Nigeria.

An American congressman Williams Jefferson was jailed in 2009 after being convicted by the FBI in relation to that case. A $100,000 cash which federal agents found in Mr. Jefferson’s apartment during a raid was said to have been from Mr. Abubakar.

Mr. Jefferson acted as a middleman in the deal, which saw him use his political connection to top Nigerian officials to get the broadband contract for iGate, a company linked to his immediate family members.

The U.S. Embassy in Abuja did not immediately respond to PREMIUM TIMES email seeking comments Saturday afternoon.

Presidential spokespersons Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, did not immediately respond to PREMIUM TIMES’ requests for comments Saturday.

Mr. Abubakar, vice-president from 1999-2007, dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress last week Friday, citing failure by the Buhari administration to improve the quality of life in the country and neglect of the youth in federal cabinet appointment.

His political allies have indicated that Mr. Atiku was on his way to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, which has opened its doors to him.


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  • Shahokaya

    “If I am elected president I will visit the U.S if I lost I will not visit because I wouldn’t have immunity and they will arrest me on the Jefferson corruption case.”

  • Fulani Nomad

    ‘If you want Shari’ah vote for Buhari’ —ATIKU . This was Atiku’s campaign slogan during the flag-off of 2003 PDP campaign in Ibadan. Through out the South Atiku associated Buhari’s candidacy with Islamic Shariah.

    • obiora

      Are you sure that Nigeria is still a secural state or your imagination. What the people Buhari killed. A thief is still better than a Killer.

      • Eluba Inas

        Provide proof for the contrary.

      • whereto

        Why are you still living in an Islamic country. Abeg emigrate to Libya.

  • raji

    It seems Atiku is trying to cover some things out because PMB visited USA before he became president.

  • absam777

    So Atiku is also an unintelligent presidential wannabe?. Holding a religious view is one thing but having allegation of fraud, money laundry, and corruption is another thing. You cannot continue to live your life off the good people of Nigeria.


      Being an extremist is equally horrible. We still don’t know sponsors of Boko Haram. How many have BH killed? How many infrastructures destroyed? How much in terms of resources have gone into fighting BH? In government Buhari have paid lip service to his murderous Fulani herdsmen. Have governed solely on tribal and religious lines

      • kinsly

        Yes we don’t know the sponsors of Boko Haram but for sure we know those who stole the public funds meant for weapons and our military to fight Boko Haram.

    • nikoroorire

      Atiku is just an unprincipled politician .If he shifts to 10 different political parties, he can never be the President of Nigeria.

  • Yusufu Abdullahi

    Chineke God, help Nigeria to overcome this cancer that is about to eat deep into the fabric of our nation politics because of personal ambition. God, help Nigeria to overcome these issues.

  • 45Degree

    Nigerians are fond of saying “…We are endowed with many HUMAN and natural resources…” Is Atiku one of those HUMAN endowment?

    • thusspokez

      Well he has 30 human resources [aka children] — unless you don’t count this as endowment?

      • 45Degree

        Lol. My broda, i tire o.

      • Opekete


  • thusspokez

    Mr. Abubakar…said the U.S. authorities have nothing against him. He said he was able to visit Europe regularly without being arrested for onward extradition to the U.S.

    Wrong Answer!

    The question was: Why had he not been able to visit the United States for many years. Or Why had he not visited his family in the United States for many years?

    • persona

      He has told us the reason Buhari didn’t travel not that he was asked not to show up BUT Atiku says he goes to Europe and avoids US (and he’s done nothing wrong) but will go when he has immunity.
      If the narrative is that US government helped Buhari then they will help Buhari again against Atiku.

      • thusspokez

        The UN is in the US, and the USA can’t stop any head of state from attending its meetings. Maybe this is what Atiku is alluding to. Atiku claims that Buhari was barred from the USA, but there is no evidence to support this claim. But if Buhari was barred from the USA, when was the ban lifted — these things are officially reported by the US state department or Whitehouse or both.

        • persona

          Atiku is a liar. He made the story up knowing that the US embassy never discloses such high profile issues.
          OBJ alerted us all that Atiku couldn’t travel. How can a man that hold an American Franchise cant go to the host country? A former VP of our nascent democracy cant get visa when democracy is the cornerstone of US foreign policy?
          A man that clearly would use the youth as his excuse after he said openly that he was at his last bus stop politically should and cant be trusted.
          Atiku knows that Nigerians wont vote for him but would rather try to discredit Buhari to have any form of margin.
          The PDP primaries will be very interesting just as that of APC was when he came third.

          • aisha ani

            I think PDP need this man’s money desperately.

      • aisha ani

        Nice one.

    • aisha ani

      Atiku moved his wife to UAE, she is no longer in the United States.

      • thusspokez

        I said “family” and that includes his children and grand-children in the US.


          His Children are married adults free to live anywhere they choose.

          • thusspokez

            Who said to you that his children [1] are not adults and [2] that they can’t live anywhere they choose? Or are you simply exercising your right to make irrelevant and stúpid comments?

    • share Idea

      Because according to him, USA have not granted him visa as his application is said to be undergoing administrative review. Do you expect him to smuggle himself to America?

  • aboki

    Time would tell!
    Nigerians are wiser and resolute.
    Nigerians would vote in various polling stations across Nigeria with their voters card with card reader verification as the case may be come 2019 General Elections.
    Politics of blackmail and names calling is becoming absolete .

  • Rommel

    Atiku scored F9 on this one, Nigeria also prevents certain personalities from visiting on accounts of certain divergent interests or views so nothing new on PMB and his religious views, we all know where America stands on matters of radical Islam but fraud or suspicion of fraud is another thing entirely,Atiku is a suspected criminal in USA, true or false?


      One and only zoo hardly stops any personality from visits.

  • TC

    He has already began lying and being deceitful, Atiku is not Nigeria’s solution. Some of us know him well. He’s a crook and liar….

  • Igyundunase Dominic

    This man call Atiku is a desperate and frustrated criminal who is looking for another opportunity to acquire wealth from from the Nigerian treasury. God will not allow him to get there.

    • kinsly

      We shall arrest him soon, Magu is closing in on him via the INTELs racket. He is panicking.

      • aisha ani

        Well, Magu better hurry up….why is it taking so much time to arrest him?

  • TDaniels2

    ATIKU is a spent force and out for selfish interests, greed and vengeance. At least PMB was not banned because he is a crook or drug baron but for his personal beliefs. However much I don’t agree with Buhari’s beliefs, he is entitled to have one. As long as Buhari does not allow his beliefs to cloud his judgements and doing the right things for all Nigerians irrespective , I have no issues. The worst of Buhari is far better than the best of ATIKU!

    • sab

      His personal belief indeed, is religious extremism not the biggedt threat to this country’s existence?.Why are the herdsmen freely going about killing and maiming people without being questioned or arrested even when they are tagged as terrorists by UN?

      • kinsly

        Did PMB tell all the DPOs in the Police not to catch or shoot any criminal Herdsman?

      • Eluba Inas

        Religious extreme is not synonymous to herdsmen. Most of the herdsmen don’t even follow any religion. You can check on that to educate yourself. Herdsmen issue is about grazing for their cows, which do go into farmlands and the second issue is their people being massacred by cattle rustlers (thieves).

  • manager

    Atiku why you didn’t tell us this during the 2015 election when all the Northerner’s lnclude you was serious to get power from Jonathan only the fools will listen to this your useless story. It’s late you can’t rule Nigeria

  • Dr Pat Mumuwole Awosan

    It is amazing that PT shamefully writes this way now. Did its Editors and so called award winning journalists not know this about Buhari in 2015 prior to the elections? But self interest and religious affiliation remained the corporate code guiding PT’s publications of the day. It was clear on whose side they were from the outset – putting up every story that sought to blackmail President Jonathan. But alas! Reality is catching up with everybody. A corrupt Buhari has been openly accused of corruption, stealing, incompetence and nepotism by two of his Ministers and party members in the last 10 days.

    The revelations by Atiku is not news. It RE-AFFIRMS what many already know. We all agree that people like Buhari can only become president in a pseudo country like Nigeria with its warped structure that permits below mediocre personalities and actually just anyone, however dumb or daft to become president. How does one explain the case of basic educational requirements for contesting presidency being completely disregarded by a candidate despite evidence of broad day certificate forgery? But many including PT looked the other way. The West and America chose to be blind. To them an extremist with tacit support for extremism and inclination to blood letting will be able to assuage the urge of Islamic terrorists who were blowing themselves up before and after every political rally of the incumbent. That Atiku only now remembers how evil Buhari is, is itself indicting. How come you now know he is an extremist and bigot extraordinary because you want to contest presidency? Neither you nor Buhari will become president of Nigeria in 2019 because Nigeria will be no more by that date.

    • kinsly

      Doctor of wailers you are still hating? Hahhaha! Hungry wailer.

    • Angry9ja

      Spot on!

  • Niger DELTAN

    My dear Niger Delta Avengers,
    Please we are waiting for you people to take action. Save the Niger Delta people from these troubles. Nigeria is not working. Animals now fight themselves to control our resources. The environment is in disarray from oil pollution and Govt is not budgeting for clean up but budgets for more Presidential Jets. Please stop the flow of oil. Lets restructure or secede.

  • Abu-Mu’awiya

    Atiku is so much desperate to become Nigerian president by all sort of lies and propagandas he is not ashamed of his thieving records.He starts looking since 1971 when millions of us were not born.

    • Chym

      Remember that Atiku was the one who caught the guy holding the 58 briefcase of thief Buhari.

  • persona

    There you have it folks…let me break it down:
    1- Buhari wasn’t denied any visa to the US
    2- Buhari may have held a view but didn’t try nor wanted to go to the US because in the last 12 years, he also didn’t go to Saudi Arabia.
    3- Buhari also went to UK for treatment just like Atiku went to Europe
    4- Atiku says he will only go to the US if we give him a mandate.
    5- Mordi was refused a visa, Buhari didn’t apply but Atiku has properties in the US BUT will not even attempts until we mandate him?
    6- If the US had to choose between GEJ and Buhari, they will make the same choice against Atiku because Jefferson has don his time, Atiku cant go to the US and thumb their noses.
    Atiku is a criminal and PT is busy doing his laundry with daily doses hoping we will forget before elections but we will rather compile his dossier of crime soon.

    • Dj

      Atiku may be a criminal. In fact he is. But Buhari is a killer. Vindictively evil, cruel and lacking any virtue of humanity. 78 Nigerians were blown up last week by his boys in Boko haram and elsewhere and he did not deem it fit to address the nation. Not even condolence for the families of the dead. Need I mention the 28 Nigerian females who died at the Mediterranean about a month ago? But had the same happened in US or France he would send a special message of condolence. Shame!

      • persona

        So, Buhari killed the soldiers and the people who chose a perilous option to travel into another country where they would have been held in refugee camps and possibly deported after the trip.
        You guys are clearly not just real. Inspite of the loss of diplomacy between US and north korea, we still have those that go there. Some students were caught shoplifting in China and they were to serve 14 years…does that make Trump responsible?
        When you guys want him to speak on the Libya issue, the same president has brought over 3000 Nigerians who traveled to Libya without proper papers back…better i have someone who works than someone who talks.
        For all of you who abuse the north, i guess Atiku is a southerner? That is the real shame.

        • Onye Obosi

          But you should know some people are neither here nor there.
          There only comfort zone is a little corner where they will have the much space needed to blame other people for their woes. Buhari’s crime is simply his stand against corruption, and Atku is corruption personified.

          • Adie


          • Chym

            You are an irredeemable imbecile

      • Emeka

        Yes you very right, that man called Buhari is a serial killer. Killer to the likes of Atiku, Saraki, Fayose, Omisore, Pius Anyim, patience Jonathan, corrupt Judges, corrupt permanent secretaries, the list is endless. I will love to be that kind of killer some day.

        • share Idea

          And what would he be to people like baru, Maina, Magu, Duara and a host of others…keep having parties with them

        • Chym


  • persona

    A man runs American University Nigeria and yet will not go to the host country unless we send him….i dey laff.
    Atiku, the question was you and not Buhari. Buhari too went to UK to see his doctors since the 70s even as he held British Airways plane but you have no excuse even as your house in Maryland is rotting away.
    I hope a PDP candidate is able to use this against him during their primaries also…This is his albatross. He will never be president.

  • Titilola

    “Critics have long accused Mr. Buhari of holding religious views antithetical to modern democratic principles…In 2001, Mr. Buhari drew nationwide backlash when he was quoted as declaring support for the Islamic doctrine of Shari’a and as calling on Muslims to only vote for their fellow Muslims during elections…” – Premium Times

    It is not “critics” who say, but rather that is who Buhari is. A bigot and terrorist loving evil man. Did he not say the federal govt should stop destroying the houses of Islamists and stop killing them? Diod he not say he will soill the blood of Nigerians if he did not win elections or if they refused to vote for him? Or are your Editors/reporters deaf & dumb? Ols spare us, Mr Buhari is a misfit for presidency. Even the so called Atiku too. Why can’t real brilliant men and women be elected to presidency in Nigeria? Why?

    • Azi

      He was quoted? Show me the text where he was quoted from…

  • Ajibo

    This propaganda will not help you Atiku ,you too desperate and God knows you will fail.

  • Lanre

    The two men (Mohammed Buhari and Atiku Abubakar) are useless to Nigerians and can never take us anywhere. Power is just what they crave. Nothing in their brains. No strategy. Nothing. Ask Atiku why Nigeria is not manufacturing and exporting electronics, Cars, Electric Stoves, Matches, Tooth-picks, hair brushes, Bottled water, Leather shoes, Sanitary Pads, Condoms etc etc and Atiku’s reply will be that he will build more roads and provide BETTER electricity supply. That is all. Development is all about building more roads and railways which are Capital projects that lead to no direct production. Ask Buhari the same question and he will tell you that he will recover all stolen loot stashed abroad so that Nigerians will not be kworrupt. Nigerians have entered half chance rickety Danfo.

  • Anybody but Buhari in 2019. But we don’t want Atiku either. A credible candidate to best these 2 will emerge before 2019. Nigeria need a new generation to lead this great country. Buhari and his generation have done enough damage to our nation.

    • Williams Johnson Fortune

      Who are the ‘we’? Because I want Buhari to continue till 2023

      • share Idea

        Why not till thy kingdom come…Nigeria we hail thee

  • Galantman

    Atiku is been too clever by half!!!!
    Simply go to the US and test the waters instead of trying to digress from the question the journalist asked you!

    • Tunsj

      He can’t. Period.

    • Separate Us…

      He simply said he would be allowed into the STATES if elected a president,of cource,he would be allowed to attend a UN meetings.Imaging all these old fools…. He probably didnt realized he was once a vice presidents for 8 good yrs,if ur 8yrs couldnt solved Nigerian problems,while the hell r u blaming someone who was only there for 3yrs.Someone should please ask Atiku if there were no youths during his 8yrs as a vice president.Its time for our news media to ask these crooks tough questions.


    For the economy, unity and better standard of life, Atiku is far better, he has human feelings unlike the wicked Islamic fascists in power, he is a moderate Muslim who is married to a Christian .

    On the question of corruption, all Nigerian politicians including Buhari are corrupt but the difference is that if Atiku decides to repent he will be more systematic and effective in the prevention of corruption instead of the present hypocritical approach where those connevted to the cabal are free to be corrupt without qualmsand those unconnected are persecuted. Buhari and his corhots have no clue about fighting corruption.

    • Eluba Inas

      “If Atiku decides to repent…” that ain’t going to happen. Leopard doesn’t change its color.

      • Ifeanyi Adico

        Just like buhari didn’t change his military and extreme Islamic mentality up to date

        • Eluba Inas

          Yes, you can say that as well. I know Buhari’s military tendencies, but that of extreme Islamic mentality was all made up by his enemies to damage him. It was all started by accolades of IBB. If you do understand Hausa you will recognized what he said and what was reported that the two are not the same.

          • share Idea

            Please can you educate us by quoting his original Huasa version and your translated version…hypocrite

          • Eluba Inas

            You are the real hypocrite. You asked me a question and you proceeded to accuse me. You hurt my feelings and I hope you get a thousand times that back. Even if I provided the quote to you it is worthless as your mind is already made up. But, here it is for those that are genuine in their search for the truth. “Ku za’bi wanda zai kare maku addininku.” There was no mention or endorsement of any religion or individual. Get someone to honestly translate it to you as you will not believe mine.

          • Charles

            he displays his Islamic extremist everyday glaring for all to see, so nobody made it up it runs in his vein.

          • Eluba Inas

            Life is all about seeing what you want to see. If you made up your mind on certain things that is what you will always see.

          • Charles

            yes i understand where you are coming from, suddenly you have become an emergency philosopher, we are marching to 2019, just like Julius Cesar told his friend, Brutus ‘ we shall meet at the capitol’

      • Tunsj


      • share Idea

        But you believed when they said that Buhari was a dictator turned democrat? Nigeria we hail thee

        • Eluba Inas

          Read my response to Ifeanyi.

    • marcos avelino

      The most wicked fascists in power were all Christians who among themselves crushed and roasted 100 million Christians mrr Islamic hater . You know these your christian brothers well I do not have to mention them. In the middle ages you had Torquemada who burnt countless Jews and christian heretics on stakes like roasted lambs. Christianity of love my foot

      • Chym

        7. You shall kill non-Muslims to receive 72 virgins in heaven; Qur’an 9: 111

        8. You will kill anyone who leaves Islam; Qur’an 2: 217, 4: 89

        9. You will behead non-Muslims; Qur’an 8: 12, 47: 4

        10. You will be killed and be killed for Al’llah; Qur’an 9: 5

        11. You will terrorise non-Muslims; Qur’an 8: 12, 8: 60

        12. Steal from non-Muslims; Qur’an chapter 8
        (booty/spoils of war)

        13. Lie to strengthen Islam; Qur’an 3: 24, 54. 9: 3. 16: 106. 40: 28.

  • Sanssouci

    With this type of answer, Atiku is not half as smart as I thought…big shame… Falana was right after all, if the choice is between Atiku and Buhari we will flip the coin and pray it doesn’t fall…very disappointing

    • Eluba Inas

      Atiku is trying to be smart by not answering the question and instead creating a diversion. If what he is saying is true then he has committed the greatest injustice to Nigerians for not bring that in 2015.

  • D. Aftermath

    Nigerians are ready to march on again for Sai Buhari no doubt the gangster era has gone for good.

    • Oghale E

      Speak for yourself ooooooo….Match for Which Sai? why? At this time and Age? We need a total break away from the Past. We need someone with Brain, we do not need a President that cannot articulate issues Properly. We need a President that will think for all Nigerians, not a regional President, We need a president that will inspire us, not a Dullard.

  • Tunsj

    This clown, Atiku, is trying to change the subject but it won’t work.

  • marcos avelino

    The religious card did not work for Jonathan a christian against a muslim and it will not work for Atiku a muslim against a muslim. Atiku said For about 15 years, Buhari could not enter America on account of religious considerations. What religious consideration , havent you seen mr Trump dancing and dining with the Saudis !! Where was his first visit ? is it not to Saudi Arabia ? Find a better campaign message. Jonathan with Omokri and Fani tried all they can to fan religious hated against Buhari. Jonathaan spent uncountable billions on christian pastors going from church to church every sunday. It did not work.

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  • trouble

    Atiku & Buhari. The diffrence is like 6 & 1/2 a dozen.

  • King Bibinama

    More dirty linens for public wash, both Buhari’s and Atiku’s and their fellow travelers whose crimes have kept the ordinary Nigerian cringing in abject squalor for ages. If only the people can learn to see thru the gimmicks of these rogue exploiters.

  • Igyundunase Dominic


  • Yego V

    While Nigerians are complaining about Atiku and Buhari. I don’t see other credible potential presidential candidates emerging. The likes of Umar Dangiwa. Please Nigerian youths should scout credible candidates no matter how young so we sweep out these old crooks.. Canada has a very young PM. I believe we have young politicians who can help clean and shape this country. These idea of zoning should please stop. I don’t care which part of the country we pick a candidate and that should be ploitics


      Northern zoo makes no room for young people, only the old feudal lords who hold the population hostage are expected to keep contesting.

      • Yego V

        I don’t know about zoo. I’m talking about Nigerian youths irrespective of geographical location. Nigerian youths should determine to take over this country and stop this nonsense about zoning.

  • Abubakar Sani

    Wow! Like seriously? Atiku is a true son of d PDP, it seems he failed to realised wat took away power from the PDP, the religious and sectarian politics played by PDP during the 2015 election was d major contributor of dat failure. Atiku wants to tow that line too and PDP will fail yet again………lets d game begins….

    • share Idea

      Then your type claimed that Christian was using religious card against Moslem Buhari…this time around, what will your type say…that Atiku is not a moslem or what?

  • Du Covenant

    A tone of BS!…