President Donald Trump of the United States referred to President Muhammadu Buhari as lifeless after both leaders met in April, according to Financial Times.
The visit of the Nigerian leader to his US counterpart was celebrated by the presidency and supporters of Buhari.
Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, had said the visit to US was an endorsement of the current administration by the American government.
“No matter how Nigerians take our own country, this is hugely an important country and this recognition is being manifested in this visit,” he had said.
On his part, Lai Mohammed, minister of information, had described the visit as a sign of the growing cooperation between the US and Nigeria.
“He (Buhari) is the president of the most populous country in Africa, the president of the country with the largest economy in Africa. And I think it’s probably the fact that the world is now understanding that Nigeria is very strategic not just to the sub-region but the entire Africa,” Mohammed had said.
At a press briefing after the bilateral meeting, Trump said he would love to visit Nigeria which he described as one of the most beautiful places on earth.
He also commended Buhari for the war against insurgency and the fight against corruption.
“Nigeria has a reputation for very massive corruption. I also know that the president has been able to cut that down very substantially,” Trump had said.
“We talked about that, he is working on it and they have made a lot of progress and I think they will continue to make a lot of progress.”
But Financial Times quoted three sources as saying Trump told his aides that he never wanted to meet someone as lifeless as Buhari again.
The White House is yet to respond to inquiries by TheCable.
Last year, there was a controversy over Trump’s alleged description of some African countries as “shithole”.
The Washington Post said he made the remark at a private White House meeting on January 12 but the American leader denied making the comment.
Buhari has been battling an undisclosed ailment which made him spend over 150 days in London last year.
The president’s health condition has been one of the major points his critics have been using against his reelection bid.
Source: The Cable