Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday reaffirmed his Nigerian citizenship and not that of the United States, as alleged by some opposition elements to the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state.
The governor was at the Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos office of the American Consulate to apply for a visa to enable him travel to the US to woo investors.
He told The Nation that contrary to the claims by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that he was an American citizen, he remains a free born Nigerian.
Ajimobi was taken to the Election Petition Tribunal last year by the PDP, which alleged that he was not qualified to contest the election because he was a citizen of the US.
He, however, defeated the opposition at the tribunal and the appeal tribunal, which upheld his election after proving that he does not possess the citizenship of the US.
Speaking with The Nation yesterday, Ajimobi said: “I am a full-fledged Nigerian citizen. I don’t have any other country. I came here to apply for visa to go to the United States because we are going for an investment workshop and we are going with many of our people to look for opportunities for investments in America and invite them to come and invest here.
“I studied in America, of course, and I was there for about eight years. But since then, I have been here. Those who said I’m a US citizen are either mischievous or are misinformed. If I was a US citizen, would I have come here for a visa? I’ve not travelled to the US sine I became governor. In fact, I have not travelled to the US since 2003.
“For me, we must take advantage of the fact that Ibadan has been listed among the top 10 cities with investment potentials in Africa. I have been to South Africa, made presentation to the business community there. I have been to England, and I am going to America now. And this is paying off.
“One of the gains is the listing of Ibadan by the Financial Times of London as one of the top 10 investors’ destinations. Oyo State is now being recognised. Even the World Bank and others are now beginning to show interest in Oyo State because of our transparency, our good governance, our management style. I think everybody is now noticing Oyo State because the only way we can develop the state is to invite others to partner with us and get away from this rural-state syndrome where what people think is how to tell lies, how to pull people down, destroy others, engage in brigandage etc. “
Source: The Nation