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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…”

I will defeat Buhari in 2019, says Atiku

Also, Atiku, who recently resigned as a member of the All Progressives Congress, boasted that he would defeat Buhari should the latter contest against him in the 2019 presidential election.

He said there currently existed in the country a widespread disenchantment with the Buhari government and that he (Atiku) would defeat him in the election.

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Leezloaded views: why didn’t the vice presidential candidate mention ASUU STRIKE during debate.




hfAktkqTURBXy9mZGU4YmZkMmZkZDZmNjQ3OTdmMzFmZGZkZThmNGI1Yy5qcGVnkpUDACPNA jNAjKVAs0DBwDDww - Leezloaded views: why didn't the vice presidential candidate mention ASUU STRIKE during debate.

Which nation is this….

Where are we going to….

Did our leaders value education…

To show how much importance the elite attach to education in Nigeria, there was a vice presidential debate last week where the words “ASUU strike” were considered not worthy of mention by the debaters or the moderator, Imoni Amarere. 

Not even in passing. I felt it.

502422d62fd424bf8e6962e817e15275.jpg703480x1 150x150 - Leezloaded views: why didn't the vice presidential candidate mention ASUU STRIKE during debate.I was stuck in hellish traffic during the debate, but made sure to monitor proceedings on my smartphone thanks to mobile TV. I was yearning for that question that bordered on the strike of university lecturers and the shutting down of classrooms of tertiary institutions across the country for well over a month now. I could well have waited forever.

Someone would later explain to me that because vice presidents are constitutionally tasked with matters that pertain to the economy by their presidents, it was okay not to bother them with the ‘small matter’ of shutdown of schools at a time when illiteracy is about the biggest challenge confronting this country at the moment.

ASUU strike: FG reveals when students will return to class

I have a different take. A vice president can be as powerful as the president makes him to be. He serves at the president’s pleasure and carries out tasks handed him by the president. He advises the president where necessary, he is dispatched by the president to oversee negotiations with trade and labour unions. And when the president travels abroad to keep a date with his doctors, the vice president steps in. A vice president is much more than a figurehead.

Vice President Osinbajo knows all about why the school gates have been slammed in the faces of students for weeks. He should have been asked how negotiations between the government and the lecturers have panned out since November 4. He wasn’t. Other candidates should have been peppered with questions bordering on how they intend to fix education and ensure strikes are no longer a recurring decimal. They weren’t.

There is a sense that the elite will remain unconcerned about university strikes because their kids aren’t enrolled in schools on our shores. There is a sense that all of us have abandoned the striking lecturers and students to their fates. We owe the schools and students tons of apologies for our silence.

In the final analysis, lecturers have shuttered school gates because they want better pay, prompt payment of earned allowances, increased funding for schools and implementation of previous agreements. Governments who do not honour pacts reached with unions and university teachers should be called out for paying lip service to education.

We owe the next generation a semblance of decent education. We can’t achieve that by keeping them at home.

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