US consulate says Atiku’s American visa status is confidential matter
The United States Consulate in Lagos yesterday said the issue of United States of American visa to anyone, irrespective of his/her standing in the society, is strictly a confidential matter, which the US Government will not discuss in public.
The Public Affairs Officer (PAO), US Consulate, Lagos, Brussel Brooks, disclosed this in Ibadan at the end of an education forum organised for 150 teachers and students drawn from various public schools in Oyo State. Representatives of Oyo State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology were at the event.
Brooks was speaking against the backdrop of the controversy surrounding the US visa status of the former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who is the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 general elections.
Brooks, who did not mention any name, made this known during an interaction with journalists on Atiku’s US visa status at the event.The programme, entitled: ‘’Teaching Resources: Availability, Applicability and Appropriateness,’ held at the Distance Learning Centre, University of Ibadan, was organised by Fulbright Language Scholars’ Association under the leadership of Miss Tolu Akinwole, who said the association, being funded by the United States Consulate, has trained a total of 350 teachers in Oyo and Ondo states in 2018 with a view to strengthen the capacity of teachers and provide solutions to observed “inability of students to apply lessons they learn to everyday life.”
According to Brooks, the case of Atiku’s US visa status has been an issue in the papers for sometime, but “the position of the US Mission has remained the same throughout any discussion of this issue, that visas are a confidential matter.
“We don’t discuss individual visa’s status of any person, whether it be a highly rated official, a presidential candidate or an average citizen.“Anyone who applies for a visa should know that there will be some records that are confidential. It is classified as private document by the United States Government, and we never discuss them now public.”
Brooks, who enjoined candidates at all levels, especially presidential, governorship and National Assembly, to focus on issue-based campaigns and avoid distractions, also advised Nigerians to ask candidates at all levels the plan they have to improve education.“Often times unfortunately, campaigns are full of distractions, things that are not that important to the lives and welfare of average Nigerians, especially the children that are with us today. What is important for them is to give them the opportunities to serve in order to thrive in today’s world.”