US President Donald Trump seems to have bitten more than he can chew with his reported comment describing the African continent, Haiti and El Salvador as ‘shithole countries,’ whose people are not worth travelling to the United States.
He is said to have made the comment at a private meeting at the White House with some congressmen last week.
The derogatory remark has since attracted condemnations, and an attempt by Trump to douse its effect with a subtle denial has backfired.
An obviously unhappy President Akufo-Addo joined colleague African leaders to condemn the US president.
In a response on his Twitter handle Saturday, the Ghanaian leader, who assumed office in January last year, has promised to build a Ghana beyond aid saying, “The language of @realDonaldTrump that the African continent, Haiti and El Salvador are ‘shithole countries’ is extremely unfortunate. We are certainly not a ‘shithole country.’ We will not accept such insults, even from a leader of a friendly country, no matter how powerful.”
This earned him the praise of his countrymen who were equally enraged by President Trump’s outburst.
This is what caused the US Embassy in Accra, Ghana, to issue a statement saying, “We have great respect for the people of Africa. Our commitment to Ghana and all our African partners remains strong. It’s an honour for our staff to serve here alongside Ghanaians, and we deeply value our relationship with them.”
In his own tweet posted on Friday, Trump appeared to deny using the term ‘shithole’ during a private White House meeting the previous day.
But Senator Richard J. Durbin, the lone Democrat present in the Oval Office at the time of the meeting, said the president’s denial was false and that he had said things that were “hate-filled, vile and racist.”
Senegalese President, Macky Sall, joined the fray last Friday with a condemnation of Trump’s conduct with a tweet saying, “shocked” by Trump ‘ s words, adding, “Africa and the black race deserve the respect and consideration of all.”
The US government has faced a sustained diplomatic backlash over the past few days due to the comment, as well as widespread criticisms from civil society.
The government of Botswana issued a statement on Friday, condemning the remark, calling it “irresponsible, reprehensible and racist.”
A group of African Ambassadors at the United Nations, led by Ghana’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, Martha Pobee, also issued a statement on Friday that condemned the “outrageous, racist and xenophobic” remark by President Donald Trump.
Samantha Power, former US Ambassador to the United Nations, wrote on Twitter that she had “never seen a statement like this by African countries directed at the United Nations.”
President Akufo-Addo’s predecessor, John Dramani Mahama, also criticized Trump’s comment in a tweet on Saturday.
In his message, former President Mahama referred to the speech made by Trump to African leaders at the United Nations in September last year.
In an earlier tweet, Mr Mahama had said that Trump’s comment showed that he is “nothing but a racist.”
The Washington Post first reported that President Trump had described some African nations as ‘shithole countries.’
Send your news stories to and via WhatsApp on +233 55 2699 625.