ABUJA, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s government on Monday
summoned a representative of the the U.S. ambassador to explain
reported remarks by President Donald Trump that immigrants from
Africa and Haiti come from “shithole countries”, the foreign
Foreign Minister Geoffrey 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”, the ministry said in a statement.
Trump reportedly made the remarks at a private meeting with
lawmakers on immigration on Thursday. A U.S. senator who
attended the gathering said the president used “vile, vulgar”
language, including repeatedly using the word “shithole” when
speaking about African countries.
The Nigerian foreign ministry statement noted the “very warm
and cordial relations that presently exist” between Nigeria and
The United States, represented by Deputy Chief of Mission
David J. Young as the ambassador was not in Nigeria, said there
were contradictory accounts as to whether the remarks were made,
the statement said.
In a separate statement, a U.S. embassy spokesman said Young
“reiterated the excellent relations that exist between the
United States and Nigeria and they discussed future cooperation
between the two countries”.
The U.S. president on Friday denied using such derogatory
language. But he has been widely condemned in many African
countries and by international rights organisations. African
Union countries demanded an apology on Friday.
(Reporting by Felix Onuah and Camillus Eboh; Writing by Alexis
Akwagyiram and Paul Carsten; Editing by Andrew Roche)