President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday fired back at former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for claiming that he (Buhari) could not enter America on account of religious considerations for about 15 years.
Atiku was interviewed by Dele Momodu for his column which was published Saturday in The Boss Newspaper he publishes.
President Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Mr Femi Adesina, said he was never at any time banned from entering the United States.
The presidential spokesman blasted Atiku, describing his allegation as a "fictive concoction being passed off as truth".
He said it was mind boggling that such an allegation was coming from a former number two man of Nigeria "who should know the truth."
"At no time was President Buhari, as a private person, ever forbidden from entering any country in the world," he stated.
He said the rest of the world had rather always held President Buhari as a man of sterling qualities, strong on integrity, transparency and accountability
"The same testimony is still borne of the Nigerian President by many world leaders today," Adesina added.
"It is curious that former VP Abubakar had been asked why he had not visited America for over a decade, something that had been a stubborn fact dogging his footsteps. Instead of answering directly, he begged the question, saying Buhari also had been disallowed from entering the same country for 15 years, before becoming President," Adesina said.
He said Atiku’s allegation "only exists in the realm of his imagination. If he has issues to settle with American authorities, he should do so, rather than clutch at a straw."
Adesina, however, was silent on Atiku’s assertion that he would defeat Buhari if he (the president) runs against him in 2019.
Atiku had alleged that Buhari had become politically weak after squandering the goodwill Nigerians accorded him during the 2015 elections.
“I will definitely beat him this time. He has wasted a lot of his massive goodwill,” the former vice president had said.