Monday, September 08, 2008
NIGERIAN MONEY TO ENCOURAGE AMERICAN NIGERIANS TO VOTE
A Nigerian group backing US senator Barack Obama for president has told the BBC the money it raised from a gala event was never meant for his campaign.
It is illegal for campaign groups outside the United States to donate funds to US political parties.
Earlier this week, the Obama campaign wrote to the Nigerian press saying it was not affiliated to Africans for Obama and would not accept its money.
The group said it wanted to use the funds to urge US Nigerians to vote.
Tickets to the lavish event in Lagos on 11 August cost more than $21,000 (£11,000) for an eight-person table.
Africans for Obama chairwoman Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, who is also the head of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, told the BBC News website there had been a misunderstanding in the press regarding the event.
"We never said we were going to donate money for the campaign," she said.
"We paid for the hall and the entertainers and the surplus we said would be spent on advertisements aimed at persuading Nigerians to tell their relatives in America to register to vote.
"There is not one Nigerian who doesn't have a relative or friend in America. Our aim was to encourage those people to tell their family who have the right to vote in America to vote for Obama."