A United States Republican Senator, Ted Cruz, has apologized to Nigerians for a statement he made on 21 October. Mr. Cruz, at a rally in Houston, while criticising technical glitches that followed the roll out of America’s Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), said that Nigerian email scammers were hired to run the Obamacare website. “You may have noticed that all the Nigerian email scammers have become a lot less active lately. They all have been hired to run the Obamacare website,” he said.
The statement offended a lot of Nigerians, leading to several phone calls and questions from Nigerians in Houston and across the United states. However, Mr Cruz’s office released a statement over the weekend saying that it was unfortunate how, these days, every joke could be misconstrued to cause offense to someone. “To the good people of Nigeria – a beautiful nation where my wife lived briefly as the child of missionaries – no offense was intended. “I am fully appreciative of the range of mutual economic and security interests that make Nigeria an important friend to the United States”. “And even to those few unscrupulous email scammers who were the subject of the joke, I apologise to you for the unfair comparison to the utterly dysfunctional Obamacare website,” the statement read.