Contrary to the expectation of many Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari agrees with David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, that Nigeria “is a fantastically corrupt” country.
This he admitted on Wednesday in a brief discussion with Sky News’ Diplomatic Editor, Dominic Waghorn.
The brief interaction took place as Buhari was making his way out of the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, alongside some dignitaries, after he delivered his keynote address at the Commonwealth event tagged, “Tackling corruption together: A conference for civil society, business and government leaders”.
In the 29-minute video of the interaction posted on the website of Sky News, the President also told his interviewer that he was not embarrassed by Cameron’s statement.
Read the Conversation Below:
Waghorn: Will you like an apology from the Prime Minister?
Buhari: No, no. Not at all.
Waghorn: Are you embarrassed by what he (Cameron) said?
Buhari: No, I’m not.
Waghorn: Is Nigeria fantastically corrupt?
Meanwhile, President Buhari has made it clear on Wednesday that he would not demand an apology from Cameron for describing Nigeria as a “fantastically corrupt” country, instead, he said all he would demand from Cameron was the return of Nigeria’s stolen assets.
Furthermore, Buhari agrees with David Cameron’s corruption insult on Nigeria, making reference to the late Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, a former governor of Bayelsa State who was accused of jumping bail in UK in 2005. He announced the readiness of Britain to return the assets of the former governor to Nigeria. He said:
“I am not going to be demanding any apology from anybody. What I will be demanding is the return of assets. I have already mentioned how disgraceful one of Nigeria’s executives was. He had to dress like a woman to leave Britain and left behind his bank account and fixed assets which Britain is prepared to hand over to us.
“This is what I am asking for. What will I do with an apology? I need something tangible.”
His response had elicited bouts of laughter from the other participants who obviously thought his comments were absolutely hilarious.
However, while Buhari was at peace with the highly tactless manner in which the Prime Minister branded both Nigeria and Afghanistan as some of the most corrupt nations on earth, others in his delegation were more forthright in stating their disapproval of the Prime minister’s tacky methods. According to Senator Dino Melaye:
“Britain’s Prime Minister is in no position to preach to others on corruption. The president of Nigeria is a gentleman. He is an old man and he is a very civil person. But it goes beyond the president as an individual.
“Nigeria is a country. It is a sovereign nation and it cannot be insulted in the manner David Cameron insulted us.”
See video Below: