David Cameron
David Cameron

Even as President Muhammadu Buhari declared that he needed no apology from Britain over alleged tagging of Nigeria as “fantastically corrupt” by its Prime Minister David Cameron, the country’s Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond reiterated the claim yesterday saying that the prime minister was “merely stating a fact.”
BBC reports that Hammond also noted that the Nigerian leader acknowledged a corruption problem.
Speaking on a visit to Gibraltar, Mr Hammond said the leaders of both countries were determined to crack down on corruption.
He said: “The prime minister was merely stating a fact. These are both countries with serious corruption problems and the leaders of both those countries know they have those problems and are determined to deal with them.”
PM Cameron was also defended by ex-London Mayor Boris Johnson, who said people would “find it refreshing he was speaking his mind.”
In the wake of David Cameron’s description of Nigeria as fantastically corrupt, President Buhari who said he was not demanding apology from the UK Prime Minister however concurred with Cameron on corruption label.
Speaking at an anti-corruption event at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, Buhari said he was more interested in the return of stolen assets by Nigerians held in British banks.
When asked if Nigeria was “fantastically corrupt,” in an echo of the prime minister’s comments, President Buhari responded: “Yes.”
Cameron’s unguarded comments in a conversation with the queen had attracted criticism from the presidency on Wednesday, which said that it had been “deeply shocked and embarrassed” by Mr Cameron’s remarks.
According to Buhari’s senior special assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the UK prime minister was still looking at Nigeria with a snapshot of the past.
However, in Buhari’s speech yesterday, he described corruption as a “hydra-headed monster” which threatened the security of countries and “does not differentiate between developed and developing countries,” stressing that his administration was committed to fighting corruption in Nigeria.
The UK government will on Thursday play host to world and business leaders at the summit in London aimed at galvanising global response to tackle corruption.

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