Jonathan: I never spoke with Moroccan monarch, Foreign Affairs Ministry officials will be disciplined


President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday revealed that he never spoke with the Moroccan monarch, King Mohammed VI.
The declaration has put to rest the controversy surrounding the week-long crisis between Nigeria and the North African country leading to the recall of Moroccan Ambassador to Nigeria.
Jonathan, in a statement by his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, declared that disciplinary measures will be meted to Foreign Affairs Ministry officials who issued a statement that he spoke with King Mohammed VI.
Jonathan expressed shock and said he was highly embarrassed by the controversy caused by the misinformation.
The statement said it was true Jonathan had been speaking with some African leaders to seek their support for Agriculture Minister, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Nigeria’s candidate for the position of President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
To Abati, that was why Jonathan was trying to speak with King Mohammed VI, the Algerian and Egyptian presidents but he didn’t speak with the Moroccan monarch until the controversy erupted.
“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.”
Due to the embarrassment, Abati said Jonathan has ordered the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, to urgently undertake a full investigation of the claim, which emanated from the Ministry, that the President spoke with King Mohammed VI.
He added: “The investigation is to identify all those who were 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 expected to unveil the motives of the culprits. President Jonathan has also ordered that prompt and commensurate disciplinary action be taken against the culpable person or persons.
“While awaiting the outcome of the investigations, President Jonathan urges 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 irresponsible quest for victory at any price in the coming elections.”


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