President of United States of America, Donald Trump, after meeting with his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari, at the White House in April, described his visitor as lifeless, according to Financial Times, FT.
But President Buhari in a swift reaction, yesterday, said he was fit, sprightly and not lifeless as alleged by the American President.
Trump had hosted President Buhari on April 30 in Washington as the two leaders discussed issues including "fighting terrorism" and other threats to peace and security.
The revelation by Financial Times came against the backdrop of current visit of Kenya's President, Uhuru Kenyatta, to the White House in Washington. Kenyatta arrived there on Saturday.
President Buhari remained the first African President to visit Trump as President of the United States.
According to an article, entitled, 'Africa looks for something new out of Trump,' Financial Times, yesterday, said Trump told his aides he never wanted to meet with someone as lifeless as the Nigerian president again.
"The first meeting, with Nigeria's ailing 75-year-old Muhammadu Buhari in April, ended with the US president telling aides he never wanted to meet someone so lifeless again, according to three people familiar with the matter," FT reported.
I'm fit, sprightly, not lifeless, Buhari replies
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, could not be reached for comments, yesterday but Buhari Media Organisation, BMO, which reacted on behalf of the President, said: "President Muhammadu Buhari is fit and capable to run for the 2019 elections and oversee the affairs of the country for four more years, President Donald Trump's hate speech notwithstanding."
The BMO in the statement signed by Niyi Akinsiju and Cassidy Maduekwe, Chairman and Secretary respectively, noted that this was not the first time the US President was heard to have made such derogatory remarks at World leaders, adding that President Buhari would not be distracted by such.
It stated: "We are aware that President Trump's disrespect for World Leaders is not new; his comments on Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, calling him 'meek and mild'; his reference to Germany's Leader, Angela Merkel's actions as 'insane', or his outlandish tweet at the UK's Theresa May, and more recently, the alleged remarks he made after meeting President Buhari.
"We recall that during President Buhari's visit to Trump in the White House, the US President commended the successes that the Buhari administration had recorded especially in the fight against insurgency and the war on corruption. The US President was full of admiration for Nigeria's President during the visit, thus such outlandish remarks as reported by Financial Times are not just to be taken with a pinch of salt but are untrue in themselves."
CUPP hails Trump over comment
Reacting to the development, a Coalition of United Political Parties,CUPP, said the American President was right in his assertion, boasting that it would drive Buhari out of power in the 2019 poll.
The coalition, in a statement signed by its First National spokesman, Ikenga Ugochinyere, said it would lead Nigerians to stop Buhari's continued reign of incompetence and impunity in 2019.
"The verdict of the President of the United States of America, Mr. Donald Trump published in Financial Times describing President Muhammadu Buhari as a lifeless leader who does not understand the issues of governance is another affirmation of the widely held beliefs that Nigeria is running on autopilot and in danger of being thrown off the cliff by the crass incompetence of Mr. President."
Also reacting, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, described the development as international embarrassment not only to Nigerians but also to the nation as a whole.