Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has dismissed an allegation by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, that he has been mounting pressure on the United States of America, US, authorities to expunge an alleged corruption case against the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
It would be recalled that the APC had on Friday evening, alleged that Atiku Abubakar is wanted in the US for fraud, claiming that Obasanjo was scheming to have the alleged charges dropped, in order to clear the path for Atiku Abubakar’s entry into that country.
In a swift reaction, Obasanjo who spoke through his Spokesman, Kehinde Akinyemi, debunked the report.
“Baba cannot be responding to frivolous allegations by a vicious political party.
“Let them bring any shred of evidence to back their false claim.
“It is unfortunate that they are trying to distract the attention of Nigerians in the lead up to a general elections, rather than focus on campaigning on serious issues to lift the country out of its current state”, Akinyemi added.
Atiku Abubakar was named in a broadband contract scandal while in office, by American and Nigerian authorities, but he was never charged to court, much less found guilty of the charges.
Still, his inability to travel to the US for over a decade, has made him vulnerable to corruption accusations, amidst broadening insinuations that corruption was responsible.
The Presidential Candidate, has relentlessly pushed back against the allegations, and publicly said on several occasions that he applied for the US visa, but was declined more than once.
Meanwhile, Olusegun Obasanjo has once again criticised President Muhammadu Buhari, this time before an international audience.
Obasanjo said Buhari’s hands are too weak to sign the African free trade agreement (AfCTA).
He made the statement on Saturday while speaking at the Babacar Ndiaye lecture series in Bali, Indonesia.
Obasanjo said he hopes that Nigeria will soon have a president who will sign the agreement.
“Africa cannot overcome fears of trade wars till it achieves 50 percent intra-Africa trade,” he said.
“We now have the continental free trade agreement which is a good idea and I can assure that Nigeria will soon sign. Hopefully, we will soon have a president who will be able to sign because the president that is there now, his hands are too weak to sign.”
The former president said the AfCTA is good for all African countries, particularly small countries.
“The future of Africa trade and the effectiveness of policies to achieve macroeconomic stability in Africa will largely depend on the strength and resilience of Africa-South trade,” Obasanjo said.
“Accelerating the process of industrialisation and transformation of African economies we must add value to our commodities. And it is in adding value to our commodities that our industrialisation begins. This is nicely laid out in the African Union agenda.
“Boosting intra-African trade and boosting the process of regional integration and the AfCTA, the agreement which was signed in March this year. This is something we have all been working to and it came up only last March in Kigali.
“It is something I believe is good for all African countries, particularly for small countries in the continent who need protection and who also need to enjoy the advantage of economies of scale.”