Republican Senator from Texas Ted Cruz gets in a staff member's car after exiting the floor of the Senate after speaking for more than 21 hours in opposition to the Affordable Care Act at the US Capitol on September 25, 2013.
JIM LO SCALZO/epa

Nigeria to Ted Cruz: ‘We demand an apology’

“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.”

That remark from Sen. Ted Cruz is the subject of criticism from the Nigerian ambassador to the United States who, on Thursday, told Politico he was “disappointed and shocked” by Cruz’s comments.

“We deplore the statement, and we demand an apology, and we demand it be withdrawn,” Ambassador Ade Adefuye said.

Adefuye accused Cruz of using Nigerians as “cannon fodder,” and added that Nigeria was aware of what Cruz said and were angered by it. “He should not denigrate Nigerians in order to appease [his] domestic constituents.”

Nigerian-Americans are also vocalizing their outrage against Cruz, and want a public apology from his office. “We want to assure our people, that we are not taking this kind of unmitigated insults lying down anymore,” a statement from the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans read. “We are respectable, law abiding and outstanding members of the American society.”

A spokesperson for Cruz defended the senator’s comments as a joke “based on the official term of a commonly utilized type of scam.” 

This is not the first time one of Cruz’s publicly-stated allusions has created anger outside of his homebase in Texas. After his faux filibuster in September, Cruz compared his 21-hour speech to the Bataan Death March—a 65-mile march to a prison camp during World War II in which Japanese forces killed more than 10,000 Filipino and American soldiers.

Cruz was forced to apologize to Filipino veterans after several civic and veterans groups, including the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans, called him out.

Ted Cruz

Nigeria to Ted Cruz: 'We demand an apology'