After UK Prime Minister David Cameron labelled Nigeria a “fantastically corrupt” country, President Muhammadu Buhari in his address at the at the anti-corruption event in London, says he is not demanding “any apology from anybody.”
Speaking at the summit at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, Buhari instead said he was more interested in the return of stolen assets held in British banks to Nigeria. The anti-corruption summit aims to “galvanize a global response to tackle corruption”.
In President Buhari’s words; “What do I need an apology for? I need something tangible,” referring to efforts to recover the money. When asked if Nigeria was “fantastically corrupt”, in an echo of the prime minister’s comments, Buhari’s response was “Yes.”
David Cameron was caught on camera for his unguarded comments in a conversation with the Queen where he said Nigeria and Afghanistan were “possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world.” He has been criticized by officials from Nigeria and Afghanistan and even the international community at large.
Buhari called for the establishment of international infrastructure to fight corruption and repatriate assets that are stolen and moved across borders.
In his speech, Buhari described corruption as a “hydra-headed monster” which threatened the security of countries and “does not differentiate between developed and developing countries”.
President Buhari said corruption in Nigeria was endemic and his government was committed to fighting it. He praised the UK government for its help in efforts to repatriate stolen funds held in the UK.
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The presidency had last night said that Cameron’s statement was, not reflective of the good work that President Muhammadu Buhari was doing.
Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has also criticized Mr Cameron’s comments, accusing the UK of being part of the problem by “providing a safe haven for corrupt assets” at home and in its overseas territories.