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Jonathan Refutes Speaking To Moroccan King


Jonathan. Image source Elombah

Jonathan. Image source Elombah

Orders Investigations Into Source Of Information
Says Heads Must Roll

THE controversy surrounding the alleged telephone conversation between President Goodluck Jonathan and his Moroccan counterpart, King Mohammed Hassan VI, took another twist yesterday as the Presidency confirmed that the President never at any time spoke with the Moroccan King over any issue.

While the Presidency confirmed that it has spoken to some African leaders to solicit their support for the candidacy of Nigerian Agriculture Minister, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, for the Presidency of the African Development Bank (AfDB), it said the President is, however, yet to speak with King Hassan VI and President Mohamed Al-Sisi of Egypt.

In a statement in Abuja yesterday through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the President said he was shocked and highly embarrassed about reports of him having conversations with the Moroccan King.

To demonstrate his seriousness, the President directed the Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Aminu Wali, to order a full-scale investigation into the matter to determine the culpability of individuals in the telephone saga.

Coincidentally, it was the same minister that confirmed, through a statement on Tuesday this week, that indeed, the President spoke with the Moroccan monarch.

The statement made available to The Guardian on Tuesday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reads in part: “The Ministry has read with deep concern a report in sections of the print media citing an online source that King Mohammed IV of Morocco has snubbed President Goodluck Jonathan by refusing to speak to the President on phone.

“This information is absolutely not correct, as the President did in fact speak to the Moroccan monarch over phone. Since the King was in France and not in Morocco, both leaders spoke extensively over phone on matters of mutual interest and concern that have to do with the conduct of rescheduled elections in Nigeria.

“It is, therefore, preposterous to suggest that Mr. President’s phone call to the monarch was intended to confer any electoral advantage on the President.

“The Ministry wishes to appeal to the media to exercise greater restraint and circumspection in the use of foreign sources of news of developments in Nigeria.”

Following the government’s rebuttal that the Moroccan government did not snub Jonathan on the telephone conversation story, the Moroccan government again on Thursday insisted that there was no conversation between Jonathan and King Hassan V1.

But the statement by the presidential spokesman said: “The regrettable furore that has developed over the matter is due entirely to misinformation, as President Jonathan has neither spoken with King Mohammed or told anybody that he had a telephone conversation with the Moroccan monarch.

“It is true that President Jonathan has been speaking with some African leaders to seek their support for Nigeria’s candidate for the position of President of AfDB.

“In continuation of his efforts in support of the candidacy of Adesina for headship of the AfDB, President Jonathan indicated that he would like to speak with the King of Morocco, the President of Algeria and the President of Egypt.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was consequently directed to make necessary contacts with the embassies of the three countries and arrange for President Jonathan to speak with their leaders.

“Since that directive was given, President Jonathan has spoken with the Prime Minister of Algeria and subsequently sent Vice President Namadi Sambo to Algiers as Special Envoy to follow-up on his discussions with the Algerian Prime Minister on support for Nigeria’s candidate in the coming elections for the AfDB Presidency.

“The President has, however, not yet spoken with King Mohammed VI and President Al-Sisi of Egypt, as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must know.

“President Jonathan has, therefore, ordered Wali to urgently undertake a full investigation of the claim, which emanated from the Ministry that the President spoke with King Mohammed VI,” Abati said.
The investigation is to identify all those responsible for “the unacceptable act of official misinformation, which has resulted in an unnecessary diplomatic row with another country and national embarrassment.” It is also to “unveil the motives of the culprits”.

The statement added that while awaiting the outcome of the investigations, Jonathan urged Nigerians to disregard “the vituperations of opposition elements, who have, true to type, latched on to the regrettable faux pas as a fresh opportunity to unpatriotically denigrate the government of their country and advance their quest for victory at any price in the coming elections.”

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  • Joe Cee

    Do you think that the minister will not have immediately lost his job if jonathan did not mis inform him. It’s the height of irresponsibility for him to say that an announcement credited to him never had his approval. How long did it take him to sack sure p. Boss for attending obasanjo birthday? Less than 24Hrs . And you believe that a minister will lie on jonathan and still keep his job? May be like mere stealing it’s mere lies. You guys are giving excuse for incompetence. When since independence in the history of our country have you heard this incoherence occurring. He cannot tell jonathan that ” sir but you told me” you know that! The sameway he claimed that he wasn’t aware of election postponement. This same way he claimed he was mt aware if chibok girls were kidnapped. Is he a leader or a national furniture? Which kind ADB? Why do you think Morocco was annoyed and turned down his call. If you are stupid they are not! Is this the first time he and his goverment is associated with a lie! How many times theve killed shekau? Didn’t he tell u we are to expect chibok girls on a curtain Monday last year. You guys are literate but uneducated

    • GodwinEdwards

      So many of you muslim Nigerian will soon pack and go to Morocco……what is special about that small land not as populated as lagos state…As a matter of fact Nigeria do not need Morocco for anthing on earth. they got nothing to benefit Nigeria economically and technologically and vice-versa

    • Geoffrey

      Joe Cee, if President Jonathan directs the Nigerian Minister for Foreign Affairs to arrange for him to speak with the Morrocan King then it does not mean compulsorily that the President will do so in the presence of the Minister. And if the Minister attempted to book for audience but the King turned down the request for whatever reason then it does not mean that the King has rejected to have anything to do with President Jonathan. The King was said to be in France at the time of this incidence so it could be that he does not discuss diplomatic issues on phone or while not on seat in his country. The question that should be answered by the Nigerian Minister for Foreign Affairs is how he knew that President Jonathan spoke extensively with the King, while Morrocan Ambassador to Nigeria should also explain how APC came about the information that the Morrocan King snubbed President Jonathan. President Jonathan should not jump into anything said by anyone for or against himself. That is not how to know an active president,

  • ben

    Why did it take a week before Jonathan denies it? Did he not hear that the Moroccan king recalled their ambassador? Something that Jona would have responded to within a hour after his official’s statement to clear the air, he waited for a week before denying after the Nigerian nation has been ridiculed again. Was Abati not in the country? Shame to all of you.

    • Geoffrey

      You should know that the President should not jump into anything said by anyone. He must allow chance to understand the basis for any argument for or against himself before saying anything. But the truth has been unveiled now so those who wanted to make politics out of the issue should look for something else. If the Morrocan ambassador placed anyone from his country on phone to speak with anyone from Nigeria’s Ministry for Foreign Affiars on behalf of President Jonathan without the consent of the Morrocan King then the ambassador should go and answer his querry. Period!!!