Less than a day after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, Rex Tillerson has been fired as the US Secretary of State.
President Donald Trump fired Tillerson on Tuesday.
“Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State,” the US leader announced on Twitter.
“Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!”
Tillerson was in Nigeria as part of his first official visit to Africa, which also took him to Ethiopia, Kenya Djibouti and Chad.
During his visit to Abuja, he spoke about American assistance to Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram and the possibility of Nigeria securing loans from the US.
Reports in the American media say Tillerson and Trump have had a bumpy relationship to the extent that the American president agreed to meet with North Korean leader without the knowledge of his administration’s chief diplomat. The two are also said to have disagreed on Iran.
Tillerson, a former CEO and chairman of oil and gas giant ExxonMobil, was sworn in as Secretary of State shortly after Trump’s inauguration in mid-January, 2017.
Rumours circulated in October that Trump and Tillerson had fallen out after Tillerson had reportedly called Trump a “moron.” Tillerson never denied making the statement.
The president also publicly contradicted Tillerson at multiple points during his time in office.