The Nigeria Embassy in Washington on Friday formally protested the slandering of its citizens as ‘scammers’ by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Monday.
“You are no doubt aware of the reaction of Nigerians and friends of Nigeria to a statement credited to your good self on the above.
“Our immediate reaction at the Embassy is to assume that you were wrongly quoted and that the statement would be denied. We are, however, surprised that this has not happened.
“We have no choice than to assume that the statement was deliberately made by you,’’ Prof. Ade Adefuye, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the U.S., said in a letter addressed to the congressman on Friday.
“For a start, we are shocked that a high profile senator of a country, which is at the forefront in building a peaceful and stable world in which nations and peoples treat each other with mutual respect could be engaged in an act which offends the sensitivities of an important component of his constituency.
“Distinguished senator, I am sure you are sufficiently familiar with the constructive contributions which Nigerians have made to economic, social and political lives of Texas, especially in the Houston area. Every country has its own share of law breakers.
“To use the activities of few as an opportunity to cast aspersions on the integrity of a country and its people is not only unfair but also excessively offensive.
“You yourself made the point that the so-called e-mail scammers have disappeared from the scene. But it is not because they were recruited to work on Obamacare.
“It is because of the successful efforts of our government working through the embassy and the international law enforcing agents to curb the activities of these few law breakers,’’ the envoy said.
He, however, noted that it was not the practice of any Nigerian diplomatic mission to interfere in the domestic affairs of the host country.
Adefuye added that the country would not sit back, fold its arms while a politician assaulted the integrity of the country and people in the process of appeasing the base instincts of a few misguided elements in his constituency.
“Distinguished senator, the least we can say is that Nigerians feel offended by you. They demand an apology”, Adefuye said. (NAN)