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Yes, Nigeria is 'fantastically corrupt' – Buhari admits

By The Citizen
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President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday agreed with the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, that Nigeria is a 'fantastically corrupt' country.

Buhari spoke briefly with Sky News' Diplomatic Editor, Dominic Waghorn, after he delivered his keynote address at the Commonwealth event tagged 'Tackling corruption together: A conference for civil society, business and government leaders' held at the Commonwealth Secretariat, London.

The brief interaction took place as Buhari was making his way out of the venue alongside some dignitaries.

According to a video of the interaction posted on the news medium's website and monitored by our correspondent, the President also told his interviewer that he was not embarrassed by Cameron's statement.

The following discussion ensued:

Waghorn: Will you like an apology from the Prime Minister?

Buhari: No, no. Not at all.
Waghorn: Are you embarrassed by what he (Cameron) said?

Buhari: No I'm not.
Waghorn: Is Nigeria fantastically corrupt?
Buhari: Yes.
Shortly after Cameron's statement went viral on Tuesday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, had reacted saying Nigeria was embarrassed by the comment.

He had said the comment was not being reflective of the anti-corruption posture of the present administration.

The presidential spokesman had said,  'This (Cameron's statement) is embarrassing to us, to say the least, given the good work that the President is doing.

'It is certainly not reflective of the good work that the President is doing. The eyes of the world are on what is happening here.

'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.'

Shehu also commended the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, for admitting that Buhari is not corrupt.

He said Nigeria cherished the good relationship between the two countries and nothing would truncate the relationship.

'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.