The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has dismissed an online medium’s report which suggested that its Chairman and Governor of Ekiti state, Dr Kayode Fayemi, was denied Visa by the United States’ embassy.
The online medium had reported that Dr Fayemi had his Visa request turned down because the election that returned him to power was allegedly rigged.
Reacting on Saturday, NGF’s Head of Media, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, in a statement, said it was necessary to correct what he called the “mischievous report” on the United States’ visa application of its Chairman and Governor of Ekiti state.
Barkindo said Governor Fayemi, like every other Nigerian citizen intending to visit the US, applied for a visa, attended his interview and was requested to pay the statutory visa acceptance fee by the US Consulate.
He said the Governor’s visa application was not denied.
“Anyone conversant with US Visa application procedure knows that applicants are now routinely taken through administrative processing before visas are issued.
“When the American Embassy indicated that the visa may not be ready by Friday, 8th November, Dr Fayemi retrieved his passport because of a crucial speaking engagement at the AfDB Africa Investment Forum in South Africa on Monday, 11th November 2019.
“It is imperative to mention here that the NGF Chairman, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, only just returned from the United States where he attended the United Nation’s General Assembly where the NGF organized a high-level side meeting on the 27th of September 2019,” the statement added.
The statement cautioned journalists against rushing to print, as “blatant mischief, laden with glaring untruths” as contained in the said report which could drag the journalism profession to disrepute.
Barkindo said the trip to the United States is at the instance of the Dangote Foundation in concert with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, adding that it is on course.
The Aliko Dangote Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have partnered for years on several global health and development initiatives in Nigeria.
In partnership with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the two foundations are hosting a group of executive governors in Seattle to discuss how to expand support of routine immunization and polio eradication efforts to help strengthen Nigeria’s primary healthcare system and the Human Capital Development agenda.
The visit will foster a deeper understanding of the State Government’s development priorities within the context of the Human Capital Development framework and harvest perspectives to better inform joint strategies for greater impact and progress in meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Barkindo said.