President Muhammadu Buhari has given short shrift to suggestions he’ll be demanding any apology from British Prime Minister, Mr. David Cameron, after he was caught on camera describing Nigeria, along with Afghanistan as ‘fantastically corrupt’.
The president, currently on a trip to the United Kingdom for an anti-corruption summit, has said he’d rather Cameron acted positively in the fight against corruption by returning Nigeria’s stolen money and assets stashed in the United Kingdom, Vanguard is reporting.
Buhari, who on Tuesday expressed ‘shock’ at Cameron’s gaffe, made his stand known while addressing a Commonwealth conference in London Wednesday morning, saying that Cameron must have been looking at an old snapshot of Nigeria.
“I am not going to demand an apology from anybody. What I am demanding is a return of assets,” Buhari said.
“This is what I am asking for. What would I do with an apology? I need something tangible.”
Earlier, Commonwealth Secretary General Baroness Scotland said Mr Cameron’s remarks had been ‘unfortunate’ and countries like Nigeria needed support rather than criticism. The PM’s comments may lead to diplomatic frictions ahead of the major international anti-corruption summit in London on Thursday. As well as Buhari, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is due to attend the summit, and he has acknowledged corruption in his country and pledged to clean it up.
The gathering of the world’s political and business leaders in London will aim to ‘galvanise a global response to tackle corruption’ and is being staged in the wake of the Panama Papers leak, which revealed widespread tax avoidance among the world’s elite earlier this year, including the father of the British Prime Minister.
Afghanistan is currently ranked 166 on Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index – second from bottom – with Nigeria ranked 136.