Nigerian Ambassador to the US, Professor Ade Adefuye, has on behalf of other Nigerians, demanded an unreserved apology from United States’ Senator Ted Cruz over his statement that the US Affordable Care Act Exchange Website was being run by Nigerian email scammers.
Adefuye in a statement said Nigerians at home and in US were shocked to hear that the Republican Senator from Texas, who spearheaded the recent shutdown of the Obama Administration, could be associated with such a remark, which till date had not been denied.
“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.
“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.”
In a short but incisive letter, Adefuye said: “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 email 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.”
Adefuye also reminded Mr Cruz that it was not the practice of any Nigerian diplomatic mission to interfere in the domestic affairs of host countries.
“But we will not sit back, fold our arms while a politician assaults the integrity of our 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,” he said.
Also reacting to the US senator’s statement, Amb. Habib Habu, the Consul General, at Nigeria’s New York Consulate urged the senator to withdraw the comment and offer unreserved apology to Nigeria and Nigerians.
“I would like to remind Senator Cruz that Nigerians are the most educated immigrant community in the US.
“There is no sphere of human endeavour that a Nigerian has not excelled in the US and Nigeria therefore, does not deserve this unfortunate and unwarranted maligning of its people for a cheap political shot,” Habu said.