FOLLOWING the remark by British Prime Minister, David Cameron, in which he described President Muhammadu Buhari as a leader of “fantastically corrupt” country, the president, who is scheduled to meet with Cameron on Thursday, has said the country is corrupt, but that he will not be demanding an apology from the Prime Minister over the comment.
He responded “yes” when asked by the British media if Nigeria was corrupt.
British media, on Tuesday, published a video clip of the Prime Minister, in which he was caught on camera, describing Nigeria and Afghanistan as “fantastically corrupt countries.”
Cameron was speaking with Queen Elizabeth II at an event to mark her 90th birthday.
Buhari, who left for London on Tuesday, is one of the foreign leaders to be hosted by the Prime Minister on Thursday.
In the video, Cameron could be heard singling out the two states as “possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world,” in footage on ITV News showing him chatting in a group, including the Archbishop of Canterbury and Commons Speaker John Bercow.
But the president, who delivered a keynote address on Wednesday, at a Commonwealth event in London, said he would not be asking for an apology from the Prime Minister, saying instead, he would be demanding the return of Nigerian stolen assets stashed away in Britain.
Answering questions after delivering his address, 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 in Britain how they led and 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 apology? I need something tangible.”
Buhari noted: “I am not unaware of the challenges of fighting corruption in a manner consistent with respect for human rights and the rule of law.
“As a country that came out of prolonged military rule only 16 years ago, it will clearly take time to change the mentality and psychology of law enforcement officers.
“I am committed to applying the rule of law and to respecting human rights. I also require our security agencies to do the same.
“I admit that there are a few cases where apparently stringent rules had been applied as a result of threats to national security and the likelihood that certain persons may escape from the country or seek to undermine the stability of Nigeria.
“It is for this reason that we are seeking the support of many countries for the prosecution of certain individuals residing in their jurisdictions.
“Of course, we will provide the necessary legal documents and whatever mutual assistance is required to secure conviction of such individuals, as well as facilitate the repatriation of our stolen assets.”
The president observed that fighting corruption was not easy, but his administration was determined to wrestle down the menace even if it has to step on toes.
Credit :- Tribune