British Prime Minister David Cameron has been caught on camera telling the Queen that Nigeria and Afghanistan are two most “fantastically corrupt countries”in the world, during the Queen’s 90th birthday celebration at Buckingham Palace.
The footage shows David Cameron telling the Queen about the anti-corruption summit he is hosting in London on 12 May, Thursday.
When the Queen approached Mr Cameron said, “We had a very successful Cabinet meeting this morning, talking about our anti-corruption summit. We have got the Nigerians – actually, we have got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain.”
Cameron continued, “Nigeria and Afghanistan – possibly two of the most corrupt countries in the world.”
The Queen did not respond to Cameron’s remark. However, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby,who was also present during the conversation said, “But this particular president is actually not corrupt.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Nigerian President Buhari said that he was deeply “shocked and embarrassed” by the comments and also had assumed that it was referring to problems that the country was facing before his presidency. Interestingly, Buhari who was elected as a president last year had vowed to fight corruption, reported The Guardian.
It has been speculated that Prime Minister Cameron has made the comment intentionally and it was a publicity stunt for the summit.
— Engr. Aliyu Jari (@Aliyujari) May 10, 2016
As reported by The Telegraph, the Conservative MPs had criticised, in the past, the aid given by the UK to Nigeria and Afghanistan. After Cameron’s remarks, they pointed out that in 2014 both the countries received $853 million (£435million) as aid.
MP Andrew Bridgen said that the payments to the two countries had to stop, as according to him, “it’s like offering a bottle of whisky to an alcoholic, they need to clean up their act first.”
According to Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index, Afghanistan ranks 166th, which is the second-from-bottom. Nigeria, on the other hand, ranks in 136th in the index.
Transparency International has also issued a statement on its online site responding to Cameron’s remarks.
It said, “There is no doubt that historically, Nigeria and Afghanistan have had very high levels of corruption, and that continues to this day. But the leaders of those countries have sent strong signals that they want things to change…This affects the UK as much as other countries: we should not forget that by providing a safe haven for corrupt assets, the UK and its Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies are a big part of the world’s corruption problem.”
David Cameron's remark about Nigeria and Afghanistan is quite disturbing, it shouldn't come from a world leader… https://t.co/ORbNJBJ6l2
— Ussy_babajo (@uxee419) May 10, 2016
Welcome to Abujacitynews' blog : Fantastically corrupt: Presidency embarrassed by PM David Cameron's remark : https://t.co/G4a0PqUXwY
— steve igbokwe (@SteveIgbokwe) May 10, 2016