The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights on Wednesday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to cancel his visit to the United Kingdom, as a protest against the diplomatic gaffe by the country’s Prime Minister, David Cameron.
Cameron had been caught on camera telling Queen Elizabeth II that Nigeria and Afghanistan are fantastically corrupt and possibly two of the most corrupt countries in the world.
Reacting to the gaffe, which has gone viral, the CDHR in a statement by its President, Malachy Ugwummadu, entitled “Cameron’s unguarded statement”, said by suspending his trip, the President would have clearly taken an exception to the outburst.
He said, “The strongest move that the President of Nigeria can make in the circumstance and in resentment is to publicly cancel his personal visit to the UK and articulate his reasons for that decision.
“That way, he would have clearly taken an exception to Cameron’s outburst which is factually wrong and diplomatically distasteful. The Nigerian political class as well as the civil and public services are largely corrupt, but not so with the vast majority of Nigerians including those in Britain, who are shaping the economy and progress of Britain.
“It is no less offensive when he (Cameron) uncharitably paired us with Afghanistan. Let Nigeria’s junior ministers and government functionaries go to the event to contest and repudiate this malicious attack on the eve of a major summit in which both countries and others seek mutual and bilateral means of tackling this global menace.
“Besides, the unholy haven that Britain and other western economies provide in warehousing looted funds from Africa must be forced to dominate the discussions.
“Also, statistics of repatriated funds and/or their applications to develop projects in Nigeria should be published to show how Britain and other countries are undermining and underdeveloping our economy, thereby promoting corruption here.”
The President has, however, said he would not demand an apology for the comments.