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Republican senator 'sorry' for Obama 'Nigerian scammer joke'

CONNECTED: Nigerian ambassador to the US professor Ade Adefuye with Obama

AMERICAN SENATOR Ted Cruz has been forced into making a humiliating apology for saying Nigerian “email scammers” were responsible for glitches on President Barack Obama's website.

The Texan Republican, who was a key figure in spearheading the recent shutdown of the US government, claimed users encountered difficulties when trying to register for government sponsored healthcare because Nigerian email scammers had been employed by the Obama camp to run it website.

“You may have noticed that all Nigerian email scammers have become a lot less active lately”, he said at a Tea Party meeting in his home state last week (October 25).

"They have all been hired to run the Obamacare website”, he added.

The republican senator faced criticism from the Nigerian community in the US for making the offensive remark.

Nigerian ambassador to the US professor Ade Adefuye said: “The comment was totally uncalled for”.

Adefuye demanded an apology saying he had received messages from Nigerian residents in the US who were appalled by the perceived cultural insensitivity.

Cruz who made the alleged statement in an apparent bid to mock the country's first black President has now apologised, and insisted what he said was a joke

He said: “It’s unfortunate that we’re living in a time where just about every joke can 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."

But Cruz again tried his hand at humour in his sarcastic apology, adding: "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.”

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