By Willy Eya
FORMER governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor- Kalu, yesterday, called on British Prime Minister, David Cameron, to render an immediate and unreserved apology to the Nigerian people and to President Muhammadu Buhari for his embarrassing comments on the nation.
The prime minister was caught on camera telling Queen Elizabeth II that leaders of some ‘fantastically corrupt’ countries including Nigeria and Afghanistan, were due to attend an anti-corruption summit in London.
But, in a statement, yesterday, Dr Kalu described Cameron’s statement on Nigeria as “most unfortunate and unguarded, given the relationship between Nigeria and Britain, two countries who share very long and deep heritage.”
He advised that, as a responsible government and former colonialist of Nigeria, Britain should handle the matter with the required level of responsibility and prudence to avoid a possible breakdown of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Kalu said the statement should be treated with caution especially as the British PM did not state the basis on which he made such assertion which has now become public.
The former governor said: “It is also gross disrespect and a most uncharitable disposition to the Nigerian people who work hard to earn their living and who have made very positive impact on the lives of the British people and their economy.
“Also, such statement, coming from the convener of the summit himself, just before its commencement, suggests that either he doesn’t take the summit serious, or, he is deceptive in terms of his commitment to the Nigerian government in the fight against corruption.”
On Tuesday, a short video footage, published by British television station, ITV News, showed Cameron telling the queen that Nigeria and Afghanistan are “two of the most fantastically corrupt countries in the world.”
The prime minister was briefing the Queen on countries expected to attend the summit, during an event at the Buckingham Palace, to celebrate the monarch’s 90th birthday.
Other prominent British officials present when he made the statement included the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and Commons Speaker, John Bercow.