Abuja — The Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the United States of America in Abuja, Ambassador David Young, on Monday stated that the derogatory remark allegedly made by the US President Donald Trump against Africans was neither here nor there owing to the different versions of the statement.
Young, who stated this Monday in Abuja, during a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, however, assured him that his country would continue to show respect to Nigeria and cherish the cordial and excellent relations between the two countries.
A statement by the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Tope Elias-Fatile, said: "Ambassador Young 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 his government continued to hold the people of Nigeria 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 benefits of the two countries."
The statement disclosed that Onyeama, earlier in the day summoned the US Ambassador to Nigeria to clarify issues regarding the remarks credited to the US President. Mr. Trump, in which he was widely quoted in media reports as referring to African countries as "shithole countries" and which he denied.
"The minister 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 of America," the statement added.
Trump had in a fit of anger lambasted immigrants, stating that they were coming from 'shithole' countries, a statement that annoyed many concerned nations and generated serious criticisms from the African Union (AU) and others.
He was said to have made the statement during a meeting with congressional leaders in the Oval Office.
"Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" he was alleged to have asked, after being presented with a proposal to restore protections for immigrants from the countries in question.