by Isi Esene
Contrary to reports last week that the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama personally invited some members of the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria, led by Bola Tinubu to the just concluded Democratic National Convention (DNC), there are reports indicating the ACN delegation attended the event on a generic invitation extended to several others regardless of their political status or inclinations.
Speculation were rife earlier in the week that the US president extended a ‘Gold Card’ invitation to Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu to attend the just concluded DNC in Charlotte, North Carolina in his capacity as the leader of the opposition party.
This invitation was portrayed as an endorsement of the policies and ideological leaning of the Action Congress Nigeria (ACN) by President Barack Obama and by extension, the US government.
The source said Bola Tinubu is qualified to attend the DNC just like others who have donated more than $5,000 to the campaign organisation of President Obama who is expected to square-off with Mitt Romney in the November 2012 presidential election.
A top official of the US Democratic Party said:
“The United States government will never allow itself to be dragged into local politics of any region or country. Several politicians from other parties in Nigeria also attended the Democrats’ convention in Charlotte with the same kind of invitation got by Mr. Tinubu because they had donated the required funds to the Obama campaign team.
“None of them, including Mr. Tinubu was given a special treatment during the convention. President Barack Obama did not privately meet with any of them to discuss the local politics in their country, so the issue of special interest or preference did not arise.”
Sunday Dare, one of Sen. Bola Tinubu’s media aides was quoted to have said that the former governor will be attending the DNC on a ‘Gold Card’ invitation alongside Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, and former commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos State, Dr. Dele Alake.