Lai Mohammed, Nigeria's Minister of Information, has urged the United States to exercise caution in granting visa to Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to the Minister, this is necessary to ensure that the US doesn't appear to favour one candidate over another in the 2019 general election.
According to NAN, Mohammed stated this at an interactive session with media executives in Abuja on Thursday.
Noting that the Federal Government was aware of the visa issue regarding the former Vice-President, Mohammed urged the US to be mindful of the timing.
His words: “We understand and appreciate the fact that it is the prerogative of the US to grant a visa to anyone who applies. However, we want the US to be neutral and be wary of taking any decision that will give the impression that they are favouring or endorsing one candidate over the other.
“Impression must not be created that the US government is endorsing one particular candidate over the other. I am sure you will all recall the Jefferson’s case and the cold $90,000 in fridge.
"We are not unaware that Atiku has engaged the services of some lobbyists to persuade the US to issue visa to him. Our position is that if the former Vice President is seeking the US visa we have no problem about it. However, we want the US government not to create the impression that it is endorsing one candidate over the other."