Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, on Monday met with the United States Ambassador to Nigeria to clarify issues regarding an offensive comment credited to the US President, Mr. Donald Trump.
Trump was reported to have used the phrase “shithole countries” to describe Haiti, El Salvador and African countries. During a meeting with congressional leaders in the Oval Office last week. When the lawmakers suggested that protections for immigrants from those countries be restored, the U.S President reportedly asked, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
The American leader has however denied using the phrase on the countries.
The US Ambassador, who was out of Nigeria was represented by the Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the United States of America in Abuja, Ambassador David J. Young.
Onyeama sought clarification on the veracity or otherwise of the substance of the remarks, stressing that if they were true, they were deeply hurtful, offensive and unacceptable, especially given the very warm and cordial relations that presently exist between the Nigerian government and the government of the United States.
Young, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Tope Ade Elias-Fatile, pointed out that there were contradicting accounts by those present as to the veracity or otherwise of the substance of the remarks.
He stressed that the government of his country continued to hold Nigerians “in very high regard” and valued the warm relations and excellent cooperation between the two countries and looked forward to building on this relationship for the mutual benefit of the two countries.