Former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, has described the statement credited to the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, describing Nigeria as a “fantastically corrupt country” as unguarded and unfortunate.
Cameron was reported to have made the statement in London, during his briefing to Queen Elizabeth, just before the anti-corruption summit, which was attended by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Dr Kalu, in a statement, a copy of which was made available to the Nigerian Tribune, said: “It is unfortunate, given the relationship between Nigeria and Britain, two countries who share very long and deep heritage; and especially as the Prime Minister did not state the basis on which he made such assertion which had now become public.
“It is also a gross disrespect and a most uncharitable disposition to the Nigerian people, who work hard to earn their living and who have made very positive impacts on the lives of British people and their economy.
“Also, such statements coming from the convener of the summit himself, just before the commencement, suggest that either he doesn’t take the summit seriously or he is deceptive in terms of his commitment to the Nigerian government in the fight against corruption.
“In the light of this, the British Prime Minister should tender an immediate and unreserved apology to the Nigerian people and to President Buhari for those embarrassing comments. As a responsible government and former colonialists of Nigeria, my advice is that Britain should handle this matter with the required level of responsibility and prudence, so as to avoid a possible breakdown of diplomatic relations between the two countries,” Dr Kalu stated.