Trump referred to Buhari as ‘lifeless’ – Financial Times

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President Donald Trump of the United States (L) poses while President Muhammadu Buhari signs visitors book at the White House in Washington DC
President Donald Trump of the United States (L) poses while President Muhammadu Buhari signs visitors book at the White House in Washington DC.

President Muhammadu Buhari, the first sub-Saharan Africa president to meet President Donald Trump since he was sworn in January 2017 as the 45th American president, was in the US for bilateral talks on Trump’s invitation.

That meeting ended with Mr Trump saying he never wanted to meet someone as lifeless as Mr Buhari again, Financial Times reported citing three persons familiar with the matter.

American and Nigerian governments have not reacted to the publication published on the same day Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta will be at the White House.

This new narrative is a contrast to what Mr Trump said of Mr Buhari at a joint press briefing held after their bilateral talks.

Mr Trump said he had in implicit belief in the Nigerian president to rein in the “massive corruption” in the country and commended his efforts at doing that.

“Nigeria has a reputation for very massive corruption. I also know that the President has been able to cut that down very substantially,” Mr Trump 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.”

However, Mr Trump has a history of gaffes when it comes to Africa.

Prior to the April meeting between the two leaders, Mr Trump had come under fire for allegedly referring to some African countries as ‘shithole’ at a private White House meeting on January 12. But he denied making the comment and labelled his accusers as fake news peddlers.

While addressing African leaders at the United Nations on September 20, 2017,Mr Trump he referred to Namibia as Nambia twice.

Last week, South Africa accused him of fuelling racial tension in the country after he tweeted that there was a “large-scale killing of farmers” in the country.

His tweet came after a Fox News show about South Africa’s plan to change the constitution to speed up the process of taking lands from current owners without compensation to redress racial imbalances in land ownership.