Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa summon US envoys over Trump remarks

U.S. President Donald Trump smiles while hosting a working lunch with African leaders during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump smiles while hosting a working lunch with African leaders during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The Nigerian government has summoned the US ambassador, Stuart Symington, to explain alleged derogatory comments made by President Donald Trump which referred to African countries as a shithole.

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Tope Elias-Fatile, in a text message to journalists in Abuja, said the US diplomat will meet government officials on Monday.

Ghana also summoned its US ambassador, Robert Porter Jackson, to protest President Trump’s alleged uncomplimentary remarks.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Shirley Ayorkor Botchway said Ghana would not tolerate unprovoked attacks and attempts by Trump to denigrate their freedoms and rights.

South Africa has formally lodged a protest to the U.S. embassy in Pretoria and summoned the deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in the capital, Pretoria.

Namibia last week issued a strong statement condemning Mr. Trump.

The alleged remarks drew worldwide condemnation, with many people calling the U.S. president a racist leader.

Mr. Trump said he had used “tough language” – but not “shithole” – at a closed-door meeting last week to discuss immigration reforms.

He responded to reporter questions about his remark by saying, “I am not a racist. I’m the least racist person you have ever interviewed.”