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Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! - Foreign Affairs - Nairaland

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Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by Mustay(m): 11:23am On Aug 11, 2008
A Lagos-based lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, has urged a non-governmental organisation, the Africa for Obama 08, to desist from raising fund for the United States Democratic Party presidential candidate, Mr. Barrack Obama.


The call came just as the organisers said that the fund realised from the event slated for Monday (today), would not be paid into the Obama campaign account, but used to mobilise Africans in the Diaspora to vote for the Democratic candidate.

In a statement made available to our correspondents in Lagos on Sunday, Falana insisted that the fund-raising was illegal and contrary to the US law that forbids any external funding.

He said, “ An organisation called “Africa for Obama ‘08” led by Prof. Okereke-Onyiuke was established in Nigeria to mobilise support for Obama. In the Thursday, August 7, 2008 edition of THISDAY Newspaper, the organisation invited Nigerians to a fund raising Dinner/Concert at the Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos on Monday August 11, 2008.

“According to the said advertisement, tickets for the dinner/concert will be sold from amounts ranging from N275, 000 per individual to N2.5m per corporate body. The funds raised at the dinner/concert will be contributed to the Barrack Obama Campaign Fund contrary to the Electoral Law of the United States of America, which forbids any form of external financing of political campaigns.

“In view of the clear provisions of the US’ law on external funding of political campaigns, the “ Africa for Obama ’08” should be restrained from raising funds for Obama’s campaign. Otherwise, Obama is surely going to be scandalised by a powerful section of the US media controlled by the Republican Party.”

The law - Foreign Agents Registration Act - was first enacted in 1966 and incorporated into the Federal Election Commission in 1974 as, The Federal Election Campaign Act.

The FECA prohibits any foreign national from contributing, donating or spending funds in connection with any federal, state, or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly. It is also unlawful to help foreign nationals violate that ban or to solicit, receive or accept contributions or donations from them. Persons who, knowingly and willfully, engage in these activities may be subject to fines and/or imprisonment.

But the Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Sola Oni, who spoke on behalf of Onyiuke, faulted Falana’s stance, saying that the group was aware of the US law on funding of political campaigns.

He added that money realised from the dinner would also be used to sponsor Nigerians (who share the Obama dream) to the US to witness the Democratic Party’s convention.

Obama is expected to pick the ticket during the convention which comes up this month.

According to him, they are raising the fund from those who share the dream of Obama and are not forcing anybody to be part of the project. “The fund is not going into Obama’s campaign account, as American law is against it”.

He also said that the organisers were interested in Obama’s victory at the polls and intend to lobby him to make his foreign policy to favour Nigeria if he wins.
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by MrCrackles(m): 11:26am On Aug 11, 2008
All the furore about Obama and Africa's increased rallying support is just something else!

I hope with all the efforts and mobilization, we would see some decent benefits as a continent and in our country!
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by Mustay(m): 12:16pm On Aug 11, 2008
Our politicians sef have their cars designed with his stickers,
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by MrCrackles(m): 1:27pm On Aug 11, 2008
Mustay:

Our politicians sef have their cars designed with his stickers,

Are you serious?! grin

SERIOUS OBAMA-MANIA
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by JeSoul(f): 2:03pm On Aug 11, 2008
Sometimes I just don't get Nigerians   

They are breaking their necks to raise "funds" for Obama supporters hundreds of miles away in the US. when there are people all around in front of them that need "fund-raising"  angry
Obama does not even know nor care these boneheads exist. When will some Nigerians grow up and get a brain?

What has Obama ever done for Nigeria? Stupid mugus. Instead of them to address the mountains of problems there at home [insert hiss here]
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by MrCrackles(m): 2:06pm On Aug 11, 2008
if you ask the idiots doling out money to give a beggar on the street of Lagos or Nasarawa 20Naira, they would scream like mad!Bastards grin
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by SeanT21(f): 10:56pm On Aug 11, 2008
JeSoul:

Sometimes I just don't get Nigerians

They are breaking their necks to raise "funds" for Obama supporters hundreds of miles away in the US. when there are people all around in front of them that need "fund-raising" angry
Obama does not even know nor care these boneheads exist. When will some Nigerians grow up and get a brain?

What has Obama ever done for Nigeria? Stupid mugus. Instead of them to address the mountains of problems there at home [insert hiss here]

Are U kidding?

God Forbids something happens to Nigeria 2morrow, WHO WILL THEY CALL ON?

Africa and USA always have a special relationship.
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by Mustay(m): 10:09am On Aug 12, 2008
SeanT21:

Are You kidding?

God Forbids something happens to Nigeria 2morrow, WHO WILL THEY CALL ON?

Africa and USA always have a special relationship.

that's if he wins.
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by JeSoul(f): 6:12pm On Aug 12, 2008
even if he wins, it doesn't guarantee anything. If he hasn't shown a whole lotta love to Africa before getting into the big office what makes you think he'll show love once he's there and doesn't need our 'support' anymore?

SeanT21:

Are You kidding?

God Forbids something happens to Nigeria 2morrow, WHO WILL THEY CALL ON?

Africa and USA always have a special relationship.
  which kin special relationship? lol girl please. Let us not kid ourselves America gives a crap about us outside of anything that might serve their own intrests.
Obama has done NOTHING for the nation of Nigeria. Heck he has done nothing for his home country of Kenya, nothing, not even during their most recent conflict.
Why should we be raising millions of naira to send to other Nigerians in the US. so that they'll "support" him? what kind of joblessness is this?
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by McKren(m): 8:53pm On Aug 12, 2008
I am disappointed that Prominent Nigerians are engaged in this.

I am a strong admirer of Obama, but it is one thing to admire a foreign politician it is another to go as far as fund raising. Especially when our own country is in dire need of leadership.

They should chanell their effort and love for change into domestic politics.
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by Nobody: 8:56pm On Aug 12, 2008
Mustay:

He added that money realised from the dinner would also be used to sponsor Nigerians (who share the Obama dream) to the US to witness the Democratic Party’s convention

Really! you cant get any more stupid than this.
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by Mustay(m): 9:50pm On Aug 12, 2008
Our people are really good at MISPLACING PRIORITIES.
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by NegroNtns(m): 10:19pm On Aug 12, 2008
Oh my!! cheesy
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by Kobojunkie: 2:03am On Aug 13, 2008
Brash!:

if you ask the idiots doling out money to give a beggar on the street of Lagos or Nasarawa 20Naira, they would scream like mad!Bastards grin

no mind them!!
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by 4Play(m): 6:38pm On Aug 13, 2008
Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and Chairman, ‘Africans for Obama 2008’, yesterday, raised over N100 million at an expensive dinner for Senator Barack Obama, the US Democratic presidential candidate, at the MUSON centre, Onikan, Lagos.

Okereke explained that her group organised the dinner in which over N100 million was contributed by influential members of the group as a way of booking for a buffet table, to create awareness that, for the first time in history, an African-American is on the brink of becoming the president of the United States of America.

She explained that there are over 5 million Africans living in the US with the right to vote, and advised them to rally support for Obama at the presidential election slated for November, this year.

PM.News observed that there were 56 buffet tables, each of them, it was learnt, cost the donors N2.5 million. On each table, there were champagne, red wine, beer, and various types of drinks. The tables were for influential and rich people in the society.

At the entrance of the Shell Hall, where the dinner took place, the floor was covered by a 25-metre-long rug with the inscription YES WE CAN, Obama’s campaign slogan. There were also very large posters of Obama at the entrance and the stage. The decoration inside was splendid with the roof covered with various colours. At the dinner, a documentary by celebrity presenter, Bisi Olatilo, was aired.

But not everybody had access to the hall. It was invitation for the influential people in the country and Africa. Okereke lashed out at journalist, saying that some of them have been writing ‘rubbish and nonsense‘ about her concerning Obama campaign. “ Some sceptical people have been writing nonsense and rubbish in the newspapers that what is my business with Obama. But they are free to continue to write petitions. It is not their money that we are spending. Ask them is it your money that we are spending?”

Okereke explained that ‘Africans for Obama’ is simply telling Africans in the Diaspora to vote for Obama because he is their brother. She also said that whoever becomes the American president is also the president of the world.

http://thepmnews.com/2008/08/12/okereke-raises-n100m-at-obama-dinner
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by JeSoul(f): 7:07pm On Aug 13, 2008
4 Play:

http://thepmnews.com/2008/08/12/okereke-raises-n100m-at-obama-dinner
Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and Chairman, ‘Africans for Obama 2008’, yesterday, raised over N100 million at an expensive dinner for Senator Barack Obama, the US Democratic presidential candidate, at the MUSON centre, Onikan, Lagos.
shocked angry
If only these affluent fools had the same kind of 'support' for their own people

If this is the way our "leaders" think then it's a small wonder why Nigeria is in a sad state of affairs

Anyways . . .
make I go find the contact info for who'll be distributing this fund to "africans in america that can vote" since I qualify cheesy . . . but on second thot, somebody(s) will probably chop this money before it even leaves the country
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by Mustay(m): 8:08pm On Aug 13, 2008
Imagine how many Nigerian students would've benefitted from such funds if used for the IT sector? I'm really disappointed that such "intellectuals" can be display brazeness in the name of raising funds. Please raise funds for the unemployed too!
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by Mustay(m): 8:09pm On Aug 13, 2008
Imagine how many Nigerian students would've benefited from such funds if used for the IT sector? I'm really disappointed that such "intellectuals" can display brazenness in the name of raising funds. Please raise funds for the unemployed too!
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by Mustay(m): 9:07am On Aug 14, 2008
[center]Yes, we can naira for Obama[/center]


Nigerians are remarkable people. The herd instinct is always obvious in the manner we conduct our affairs, especially when it concerns politics. People almost always get instantly divided along ethnic lines – the reason why Nigerian politics has been described as a “Politics of Shibbolethism.”


That trait was carried a little too far when a group under the appellation, Africans for Obama, led by the Nigerian Stock Exchange Director-General, Prof. Ndidi Okereke-Onyuike, organised a fund raiser dinner in Lagos for the United States Presidential aspirant, Senator Barack Obama. According to newspaper reports, the NSE boss explained during the dinner that, “Africa for Obama is simply telling Africans in the Diaspora to vote for Obama because he is their brother.”

Anyone familiar with the United States laws on the sourcing of funds for political candidates will be aware that that country’s system does not permit external funding for its candidates. Therefore, millions of naira reportedly contributed by influential Nigerians during the expensive dinner held on Monday at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, is not going into Obama’s campaign fund.

The organisers claim they are aware of that law and, according to a Senior Manager of NSE, Mr. Sola Oni, who spoke on behalf of the NSE boss, the money, apart from being used to mobilise Africans in the Diaspora to vote for Obama, will also be used to arrange for a select group to travel to St. Paul, Minnesota, to witness the convention of the Democratic Party. Their efforts are not purely altruistic. They believe that by supporting Obama now, the returns will come later. If and when Obama succeeds, they believe he could be lobbied to make policies that will favour Nigeria.

On the surface, their efforts sound good and commendable. In fact, the organisers should be given a pat on the back for having the foresight to prepare for Nigeria’s future in the scheme of things, especially since America is widely regarded as the centre of the world. With the way American elections are going, there is a possibility that Obama could win. Give it to him, he has got the charisma. He is relatively young and, so far, he has proved that he is not just black; he is also a man of colour and ideas. So, any investment in him is probably worthwhile as he has better chances of winning the presidential election.

A deeper and more introspective look at the project, however, shows the Nigerian spirit at work. In Nigeria, politicians are hardly ever supported for their ideologies or manifestoes (if they have any, anyway). People rally around them for the purpose of self-preservation. They give generously at such fund raiser with the hope that when elected, they get returns.

In addition to monetary support, political godfathers throw their weights behind their choice candidates and expect them to be obedient “godchildren” when they get into the office and are required to perform during pay-back time. They almost never finish paying up until their tenures expire. Then, they begin to seek another term and since anybody hardly ever wins election in Nigeria on merit, the whole process begins again.

Will Obama allow Nigerians to box him into such a corner? Not likely. Not even for the millions raised to persuade enfranchised Africans in the Diaspora to vote for him. Since he didn’t ask for their support in the first place, he will probably not even give them a hearing. [size=18pt]Africa is the least of Obama’s problems now.[/size] (thank God this writer supports my view!) His policymaker for Africa, Mr. Eric Wright, who represented him at the dinner, said there was no policy for Africa at the moment. As it is, he owes Africans for Obama no obligation. It is not his business that they are raising voters on his behalf, just as it is not their business to do so in the first place. He will probably politely tell them to mind the democracy of their own country which is getting undemocratic by the day.

Not because he is an unappreciative person but because he has spent a lot of time speaking against judging a person by the colour of his skin. He has tried so hard to take attention off the colour of his skin and he may not want to associate with the Africans for Obama group for the simple reason of not wanting to be heard (and seen) speaking from both sides of his mouth. Knowing what kind of country America is and what her media is capable of, even when it concerns a sincere motive like mobilising support for a brother, he would like distance himself further from the group. He would not want to be linked with some citizens from a country whose leadership at every level is a story of skeletons without the cupboard.

The Nigerian arrow heads of the group may have their joker though – a few Nigerians are aware that many of them have dual citizenships of Nigeria and America – meaning that both ways, they win.

It is only with this in mind that it makes economic sense to sponsor them to witness the Democratic convention in America when the whole affair will probably be broadcast live on CNN and posted on the Internet as soon as it’s happening. Anyway, if they must be there by all means, they can afford to pay for their passage to America, so why raise fund from Nigerians? But then, Okereke-Onyuike has asked those opposed to the dinner, “It is not their money we are spending. Ask them, is it your money that we are spending?”

If we may ask, what will the presence of the Nigerian delegates add to the convention? They will probably not even be noticed among thousands of Americans that will throng the convention venue that will require accreditation. If the dinner organisers think they will bring such knowledge to Nigeria, they need not bother. As a country, it is not that we don’t know what to do. The problem is that we simply do not bother to do it.

Supporting a brother who has done what would have been unimaginable about a 100 years ago is a commendable effort. The story of Obama whose campaign slogan is, Yes we can, has so far, one way or the other, inspired millions that a man can be what he wants to be regardless of whatever barriers the society places in his way. He has shown that if a man knows where he is going and is ready to defy the odds, the world is ready to make a way for him.

What is still not clear, however, is why Nigerian individuals and organisations would spend so much money on an issue that ordinarily does not concern them when fellow Nigerians are languishing in pain and poverty and will fare better with just a fraction of that fund extended to them. But, yes we can, Nigerians can achieve anything we set our minds on.
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by grafikdon: 12:10pm On Aug 15, 2008
This is so wrong on so many grounds. . . from notorious misplacement of priorities to idiocy and racism. These people will not kill me with stomach ulcer.
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by samir101ng(m): 2:12am On Aug 17, 2008
Oh God of mercy !! Nigerians are dying daily of hunger and unemployment and see what these individuals are upto. oya where are the militants and armed robbers in that area ? Operation Chop obama money should be moved into motion.
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by Mustay(m): 12:14pm On Aug 18, 2008
There is still the possibility that Barack Obama might not win the American Election.

Does a McCain victory not jeopardise the business interest of Nigeria especially the companies quoted on the Stock Exchange? Even if the Democratic Party wins the next election, could a Republican Party victory in subsequent elections seek to extract a pound of flesh from the Nigerian business community? There are many possibilities that call for caution on the part of the Stock Exchange community. On the home front, the participation in and support of the Stock Exchange boss for the presidential campaign of one politician against the other puts members of the Stock Exchange who do not share passion and bias, in a dilemma.

Okereke-Onyuike should consider the greater national and corporate interest of Nigerian and the stock exchange and opt out of this Obama campaign exercise. Indeed, it is time for the corporate sector to realise that it is illegal for them to support one political interest against the other. The failed third-term campaign, funded by corporate Nigeria and spear-headed by Okereke-Onyuike is still fresh in our memory.

The lack of sanctions by the Corporate Affairs Commission has emboldened this new venture into the American political terrain.

With a strict law enforcement regime in the US, both the stock exchange and the Federal Nigeria may pay for this avoidable political indiscretion.
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by Bbng(f): 1:34pm On Aug 18, 2008
Mustay, you couldn't have put it any better!

The first time I heard this Obama story, I was speechless!!!

People can argue for it as much as they can but the way I see it is that it is a sheer waste of resources.

Obama or any other (non-African {sometimes I think some African leaders would rather favour the interest of others over their countries good but that is a discussion for another day}) president will first consider what his country will gain from certain "favours" before dishing them out.

If we wish o, let us support Obama or anyone else to the North Pole, it will not change anything.

Let us face our issues and stop looking onto others to solve them for us.

I like Obama and would like to see him become president but I ain't going to put a kobo of my money or time into a venture that won't yield any profit!!!
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by Mustay(m): 2:20pm On Aug 18, 2008
From my last source, it seems she has a hidden agenda for the NSE; the more reason why she's doing this.
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by Mustay(m): 7:20pm On Aug 18, 2008
Omg! Please, i do not want to cry! I just saw this on Bisi Olatilo show! It's ridiculous. . .
Re: Stop Raising Funds For Obama Jo! by AKO1(m): 10:51am On Aug 19, 2008
[center]Obama disowns Okereke-Onyiuke, others!![/center]



The campaign organisation of the Democratic Party‘s candidate for the November 2008 United States presidential election, Senator Barack Obama, has dissociated itself from the activities of a Nigeria-based group, Africa for Obama.


The campaign organisation said in a letter to the Editor, PUNCH online, that it was doing so based on an advertisement that the Nigerian group was organising a fundraiser for Obama.

‘Africa for Obama’ led by the Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, had at its dinner/concert in Lagos on Monday August 11, reportedly raised about N100m.

The letter by the Staff Counsel for the Obama for America, Ms. Kendall C. Burman, reads, “We want to inform you that Obama for America, Inc, which is the principal campaign committee for Senator Barrack Obama in his campaign for President of the United States, and the Democratic National Committee are in no way affiliated with this event or with this organisation.

“Obama for America and the Democratic National Committee will not accept any funds raised at this event or through the fundraising activities of this group.

“We want to make it clear that the event and this organisation are in no way associated with Obama for America of the Democratic National Committee should this organisation seek to place additional advertisement in your paper.”

At the dinner in which notable artistes performed, tickets were sold in the category of Platinum (Corporate table for eight people for N2.5m and individual N325,000.

For the gold category, the ticket was sold for N2m for corporate table of eight and N275,000 for an individual.

But in a swift response, Okereke-Onyiuke said the event organised by ‘Africa for Obama’ was not aimed at raising funds for Obama but to sensitise Africans living in America.

The NSE chief who spoke with one of our correspondents on the telephone on Monday said, ”At no time did we say we were raising money for Obama.

“What we are saying is that Obama is for the world and he has been getting support from Europeans, from Arabs and from all over and Nigerians should not be different.

“We are not collecting money for Obama. I lived in the US for 14 years; I am a Green Card holder and I know the law. We are just mobilising people who are eligible voters to go out and register and voter for him and I don‘t know why this should be an issue.

“The event was a concert and people bought tickets on their own volition. People have been saying I used my position as D-G to compel corporate organisations to donate money. I am tired of all these. This is not true. No corporate organisation gave any cheques.

“The guests came in their personal capacity, whether they work in a bank or anywhere else I do not know. Even the table I bought for my friends and relations was paid for out of my own pocket and the money was used for the food and to pay for the artistes. We ate and danced and enjoyed ourselves.

“Some people, including journalists, came in for free and what I said there was that if there is any surplus, after the accounts have been done, the money will be used for mobilisation.”

She explained that the mobilisation campaign would involve advertisements and online campaigns to encourage African-Americans to register and vote for Obama.

Okereke-Onyuike, who stressed that the event was a private affair, wondered why eyebrows were not raised over similar events where tables went for eight figures.

She said, ”Nobody was forced to attend the event. I have paid N10m for a table at a concert; nobody was forced to pay. The event was a private thing and I used my own money to put it together. Some people like to sit in front of the television and watch history in the making but we chose to mobilise people to vote for someone we believe in.”

The NSE boss, who expressed her frustrations over negative insinuation about the real intentions of the organisers of the event, said that she was very careful in wording the media adverts that preceded the event.

She stressed that it was not a fund raising event.

She said, ”I am a very intelligent person; I have a PhD that I did not buy. We were careful with our advertisements and we were transparent in all we did. I don‘t understand why Nigerians like to be negative. People have been mobilising support for Obama all over the world and they are not being castigated.

“I want to make it clear that I am a Nigerian and I have the right to do anything I want with my time and my money.”

The emergence of Okereke-Onyiuke as the chairman of the group had raised dust as some Nigerians made reference to her role in a fundraiser for former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s re-election in 2003. She did so under the umbrella of Corporate Nigeria.

Okereke-Onyiuke was also believed to be a staunch supporter of Obasanjo in his bid to extend his tenure in 2006.

Many critics had argued against raising money for Obama as US presidential candidates are barred from receiving funds from abroad.

The immediate past General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Nimi Walson-Jack, had argued in an article published in THE PUNCH on Monday that ”Political candidates may legally take donations from American citizens or from permanent residents of the United States wherever they happen to live, even if the money is raised overseas.

”But the US political candidates cannot legally accept donations from individuals who are neither US citizens nor permanent US residents.”

Also speaking on the matter, human rights advocate and lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, described the dinner/concert as an illegal action that could impact negatively on Obama‘s presidential aspiration.

Falana said, ”The funds raised at the dinner will be contributed to the Barack Obama Campaign Fund contrary to the Electoral Laws of the US, which forbids any form of external financing of political campaigns.

”In view of the clear provisions of the US law on external funding of political campaigns, the ‘Africa for Obama ‘08’ should be restrained from raising funds for Obama‘s campaign. Otherwise, Obama is surely going to be scandalised by a powerful section of the US media controlled by the Republican Party.”

Source

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