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Okereke Raises N100m At Obama Dinner

Posted by By Simon Ateba on 2008/08/12 | Views: 2200 |

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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.

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 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.

Representing Obama at the dinner was Mr. Eric Wright, Obama policy maker for Africa, who flew in from South Africa.

Wright said that he did not speak for Obama or for the campaign team.

He was however evasive about how an Obama presidency will handle African issues.

He said there was no policy for Africa at the moment. He explained that if Obama becomes President, Africa will be closer to Washington than it is at the moment. He did not address the issue of an American military base in Africa and did not go into details.

But Mr. Oladipupo Oni, chairman ‘Africans for Obama or McCain 2008’, said that the chainman of ‘Africans for Obama’ was being myopic about American election.

He said that voting for Obama only because he is black and not because of what Africa is to gain in an Obama Presidency was nonsensical.

He said: "Obama is a black man, and even in states dominated by the whites, Obama won the primary elections, so why should we say that only because Obama is black we should vote for him?

"Are we saying that the white people that voted for Obama should not have voted for him because he is black? That is why I have decided to set up ‘Africans for Obama and McCain’. This is because we have no problem regarding the race issue. We are saying to McCain or Obama to tell us what they will do for us and we will vote for them not because they are white or black, but because of the issues. "

The ‘Africans for Obama or McCain 2008’ was set up on Saturday, Oni disclosed.

He said: "We should not be victims of the racial segregation that pervaded the US for centuries."

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