Symington, who is out of Nigeria, was represented by the Deputy Chief of Mission, David Young. A four paragraph statement made available to Daily Sun in Abuja by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Tope Ade Elias-Fatile, said the government sought clarification on the veracity or otherwise of the substance of the remarks.
The statement read: “The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, today, summoned the US Ambassador to Nigeria to clarify issues regarding the remarks credited to the US President, Mr Donald Trump, in which he was widely quoted in media reports as referring to African countries as “shithole countries” and which he denied.
“The US ambassador, who was out of Nigeria, was represented by Ambassador David J. Young, the Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the United States of America in Abuja. 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.
“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 benefit of the two countries.”