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By Ehi Ekhator
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari may have been totally perplexed after a video surfaced on the internet where the United Kingdom Prime Minster David Cameron described Nigeria and Afghanistan as fantastically corrupt.
The video trending on social media has attracted negative remarks on Cameron and the Nigerian President whose usual tactics of taking responsibility for the instant is shifting blames to the previous administration.
During London Anti-corruption Summit on Tuesday, The Prime Minister was seen telling the Queen of England, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the Leader of the Commons Chris Grayling and the Commons Speaker, John Bercow that Nigeria and Afghanistan are the two most corrupt countries in the world.
Here’s what was said:
John Bercow: The great axis of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the House [Chris Grayling].
David Cameron: Well I don’t know about that.
We’re on the same side most of the time.
We’ve had a very successful cabinet meeting this morning to talk about our anti-corruption summit, we’ve got the Nigerians… actually, we’ve got the leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain.
Nigeria and Afghanistan, possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world.
Justin Welby: But this particular president is actually not corrupt.
Queen: Is that right?
Welby: Oh yes, he’s trying very hard this one.
Bercow: They are coming at their own expense, one assumes?
Cameron: I… Yes… Because it’s an anti-corruption summit, everything has to be open. So there are no sort of closed door sessions, it’s all in front of the press. It could be quite, umm, interesting. But there we go.
As the grand defender of his nation, the Presidency response to the derogatory remark on the African most populous nation was expected yet disappointing.
President Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) are still blaming the previous administration headed by Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for the current situation of the country even a year after.
Many Nigerians believed that the anti-corruption war by the current administration is motivated by hate and vengeance since no members of the ruling party is being prosecuted apart from the Senate President, Bukola Saraki who, according to speculation is being punished for hijacking the senate seat, while Bukola cried that he was being crucified for objecting Muslim/Muslim ticket during the Presidential election.
Many of the outspoken members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have been arrested by the anti-graft agencies over their sources of funding the last Presidential election are being questioned.
Even though the ruling party was allegedly funded by a group of Nigerian politicians, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has forgotten to balance the crusade to diminish corruption, the reason many Nigerians and members of the opposition described the battle as lopsided.
Buhari during his presidential campaign projected corruption as a scourge on Nigeria. He promised to crush those involved and make sure they are prosecuted.
The President on the other hand, even though the war is described as lopsided, is doing everything within his power to impress the international community that Nigeria can be saved. He had made the promise he intends to keep in the war on corruption.
Buhari while speaking at the Presidential villa had said `if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria”
The President believed that the major problem the country is facing is corruption and ensuring that the great nation regains its voice again.
Despite, the worry of many people remained the fact that many of the President’s allies could be described as “Dons of corruption” yet the anti-graft agencies look the other way.
Cameron’s video has shed light on the way Nigeria as a nation is viewed by the international community.
The presidency response, rather than tackling the derogatory remark on the country, shifted the blame to the Jonathan’s administration. It seems the Nigerian President may never take responsibility despite the fact that he has been ruling the country over a year and nothing has actually improved.
Responding to the national insult, one of the President paid artists, Garba Shehu said “The Prime Minister must be looking at an old snapshot of Nigeria. Things are changing with corruption and everything else. That, we believe is the reason they chose him as a keynote speaker at the pre-summit conference.”
He thanked the ARchibishop for singling the President out as “not corrupt”
“Thank you to the Archbishop. We very much cherish the good relationship between our two countries and nothing should stand in the way of improving those relations,” he added.
It is no shock to many Nigerians that Cameron openly called Nigeria as fantastically corrupt since earlier in the month, its President has told the world that the people are criminals
Speaking with New Telegraph in February, Buhari said “Some Nigerians claim that life is too difficult back home, but they have also made it difficult for Europeans and Americans to accept them because of the number of Nigerians in prisons all over the world accused of drug trafficking or human trafficking,”
“I don’t think Nigerians have anybody to blame. They can remain at home, where their services are required to rebuild the country.”
What’s your view on Cameron’s remark, and how the President handled it?
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