Nigerian President Replies to British PM ‘Return the Stolen Funds’

LAGOS, Nigeria, Capital Markets in Africa: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said he isn’t demanding an apology from the U.K. after comments from Prime Minister David Cameron that the country was “fantastically corrupt.”

President Buhari was asked if his country was “fantastically corrupt” as Cameron had claimed, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari answered “yes,” and said that he wasn’t demanding an apology for the comments. In addition, he said

“What I am demanding is the return of assets” that are the product of corruption in Nigeria and lodged in the U.K., Buhari said. “What would I do with an apology?”

Cameron on Tuesday named Nigeria and Afghanistan among “the most corrupt countries in the world” in a conversation with Queen Elizabeth II and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on the eve of a visit by the leaders of the two countries.

While the hosts may have some work to do to smooth relations with their guests from Nigeria and Afghanistan, even those delegations may accept that Cameron had a point. In a collection of articles on corruption that will come out on Thursday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called his homeland “one of the most corrupt countries on earth,” while Buhari said that corruption has become “a way of life” in Nigeria.

“Both leaders have been invited to the summit because they are driving the fight against corruption in their countries,’’ said Dan York-Smith, a Downing Street spokesman. “The U.K. stands shoulder to shoulder with them as they do so.”

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