UNITED STATES (U.S.) Senator Ted Cruz at the weekend apologised and called for a peace meeting with Nigerian-Americans who have demanded that he retracts his controversial joke last week, which many of them considered insulting.
According to a letter from the senator released at the weekend to leaders of the Nigerian community in Houston, Texas, where the controversial comments were made, Cruz “regrets any misunderstanding.”
The letter was signed by one of the aides of the Senator, Mr. David Sawyer, the South-East Texas Regional Director in his office. Sawyer, in another statement, is also asking for a peace meeting today between Senator Cruz and representatives of the Nigerian community in Houston.
Cruz has been bombarded with several phone calls from Nigerians in Houston and all across the U.S. since last Monday, October 21, comments.
Besides, there has been a big splash of negative media focus on the American senator in the U.S., which peaked on Friday with the widely reported response of the Nigerian Ambassador to the U.S., Prof Ade Adefuye, who in a firm manner asked the U.S. senator to apologise.
The letter of apology, copy of which was made available to The Guardian yesterday, quoted the senator directly in part. It read thus:
“Earlier this week, Sen. Ted Cruz made a joke in which he used the term ‘Nigerian email scam.”
Senator Cruz regrets that “it is unfortunate that we’re living in a time where just about every joke can be misconstrued to cause offense to someone.”
Cruz has never, nor would ever use a blanket term in a derogatory fashion against such a vibrant and integral part of our community. This usage was never directed to the Nigerian community as a whole.
“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,” Cruz said in a statement Sunday.