Tags: nigeria | obama | dinner

Nigerian Paper Describes Obama Dinner

Thursday, 21 Aug 2008 11:18 PM

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The following are excerpts taken from a story by Chris Akiri in Nigeria's Guardian newspaper. The report was published on Thursday, Aug. 14:

I witnessed the launch, on Friday, July 18, 2008, of the Africans for Obama 2008 group, which, for the time being, at least, is said to be a non-profit-making and non-governmental organisation, masterminded by the ebullient and versatile lady, Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, PhD, OON, chairman of Transcorp and Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, a Federal Government parastatal. The event took place at the Golden Gate Restaurant, Ikoyi, Lagos . In her keynote address, which she delivered with aplomb and information, and almost extempore, the well-informed professor drew attention to the fact that "history is being made in the United States of America."

"For the first time," she reminded her audience, "our own kinsman, an African-American, Senator Barack Obama has scaled up the political ladder of the most powerful country in the world, as the Presidential Flag bearer on the platform of (the) Democratic Party... It is against this background," she continued, "that a group of concerned citizens of African extraction gathered together under the aegis of AFRICANS FOR OBAMA 2008, a non-partisan group who decided to organize this forum as a way of creating more awareness in the African setting in general and for our people in Diaspora in particular to exercise their voting right..."

Why should Africans who are bedevilled by bad governance and who have no scintilla of respect for the rule of law and the due process of the law, junket from Nigeria to the U.S. to educate Americans on which candidate to vote for? Why should Nigerians who have not extricated themselves from the trammels of tribalism, ethnicity and tunnel visions and who have not organised, nor assisted in the organising of, any free and fair election in Nigeria (with the possible exception of the June 12, 1993, presidential election) rush to the U.S. to teach Americans how to vote? Why should Nigerians export tribalism and racial discrimination to the U.S., which already reeks of these rancid products, any way?

Last week, many newspapers carried adverts placed by the Africans for Obama 2008 group, with a screaming YES, WE CAN! shibboleth. The adverts also invited interested Nigerians to "a dinner/concert" party, featuring some celebrities. The invitees were categorised into patricians and plebeians: The members of the former category (the platinum group) were required to pay the sum of either N2.5 million, if corporate, or N325,000, if individual; members of the latter category (gold) were required to cough out the sum of N2 million, if corporate, or, if individual, the sum of N275,000.00 apiece, for a plate of food! That, in itself, already sounds like a planned importation of the Nigerian factor to the United States.

That highly indecent party was designed to raise money for the junket to Denver , Colorado, to bestir African-Americans to their civic responsibility which, as far as the Africans for Obama group is concerned, consists in voting for "our brother," a parochial term deriving from rank tribal insularities characteristic of the Nigerian political life. Whereas in the U.S., an individual may contribute a maximum of $2,300 (or about N276,000) per election, we, the unsolicited mourners in Nigeria, are being called upon to cry more than the bereaved!

Although Prof. Okereke-Onyiuke correctly put an accent on the fact that non-Americans are forbidden, by the U.S. laws, to make any financial contribution to an American election, the contributions being made by the Africans for Obama group to facilitate a pro-Obama trip to the U.S. could be construed as a constructive contribution to the U.S. presidential election (Agair Inc. vs. Shaeffer, 232 Cal.App.2d 513). I have no doubt that if Obama should get wind of these unsolicited somersaults in Nigeria concerning his election efforts, he would take serious exceptions to them."

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