News / Africa

Nigerian Ambassador Mad at McCain

The Bring Back Our Girls campaign to free kidnapped school children has brought a political love/hate affair to the Nigerian Embassy in Washington.
 
The Obama administration dispatched a small contingent of troops to nearby Chad to support a reconnaissance mission in the search for the girls in Nigeria. First lady Michelle Obama was prominently photographed holding a “#Bring Back Our Girls” sign.
 
“But in all this show of friendship and support by an incredibly compassionate American nation, Senator John McCain has been a sad footnote,” Nigeria’s Ambassador Adebowale Ibidapo Adefuye said in a speech several weeks ago.

 
Sen. John McCain speaks during a forum with veterans in Phoenix, Arizona, May 9, 2014.Sen. John McCain speaks during a forum with veterans in Phoenix, Arizona, May 9, 2014.
x
Sen. John McCain speaks during a forum with veterans in Phoenix, Arizona, May 9, 2014.
Sen. John McCain speaks during a forum with veterans in Phoenix, Arizona, May 9, 2014.
Republican Senator McCain’s comments in pushing for strong U.S. intervention to end the standoff with the girls’ Islamist Boko Haram captors aroused Adefuye’s ire.
 
Nigeria’s top Washington diplomat delivered a very unusual personal attack on the American lawmaker - to the point of saying how divine “providence” spared McCain from becoming president in 2008.
 
McCain’s office said the senator is passionate about helping to get the girls freed.
 
“Senator McCain notes with great sorrow that the hundreds of Nigerian girls remain missing,” said McCain spokeswoman Rachael Dean. “He still strongly believes the U.S. should do whatever it can to bring the girls home.”
 
The genesis of the controversy stems from McCain’s comment in The Daily Beast when the kidnapping story gained traction last month.
 
The Arizona senator said that a U.S. rescue attempt for the girls should come without necessarily waiting for permission from Nigeria’s president, whom he referred to as “some guy named Goodluck Jonathan.”
 
Others have criticized the Nigerian government’s efforts to free the girls as being late and poorly executed. The embassy has been the site of protests calling for Nigerian better government action.
 
Nigerian Ambassador Adefuye said McCain has gone too far.
 
“The ranking Arizona Senator and former Republican presidential candidate has inexplicably seized on the pain of a distressed nation not only to show contempt to our country but also denigrate the office and person of His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Adefuye said in a recent speech in Washington.
 
“One wonders what could have happened if the 2008 elections have gone the other way and McCain became the President of the most powerful nation in the world,” Adefuye said. “The good Lord has a better plan for the people of the world.”
 
The ambassador also offered to set McCain straight on the Boko Haram abduction issue.
 
“We will like to call on his well paid staff to brief him properly on Nigeria and accord our country as well as the Office of the President the respect they deserve,” Adefuye said.
 
The ambassador’s comments on McCain were eventually dropped from the front page of the embassy website.
 
The embassy is also warning Americans about fraudulent fund-raising schemes related to the girls’ kidnapping.
 
The embassy said scammers have sought to collect money “under the pretense of working in collaboration with the Embassy in solidarity with the adopted Nigerian girls.”
 
Asked about the issue, an embassy spokesman said the embassy has received calls from Americans curious about the fake fundraising endorsement. He urged prospective donors to investigate purported charities before they send money.

Lee Michael Katz

Lee Michael Katz is an award-winning journalist, analyst and author.

Currently a prominent freelance writer, Katz is the former Senior Diplomatic Correspondent of USA Today and International Editor of UPI News Service.He has reported from more than 60 countries.  Katz’s expertise includes foreign policy and diplomacy, peace talks, national security, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction policy, foundation grants, business and financial topics.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid