The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to apologise to Nigerians for the “embarrassment he has caused them over his phantom phone conversation” with the king of Morocco.
In a statement in Lagos on Friday, the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Lai Mohammed, said, “in our earlier statement on the issue, we gave President Jonathan the benefit of the doubt by asking him to clarify what happened, just as the Moroccan king has done.
“Instead, a loquacious spokesman for the President decided to abuse us, instead of addressing the issues. That tells us that, indeed, these people have something to hide over the phoney phone conversation.”
The APC argued that, based on the antecedents of the Jonathan administration, which it said had little or no regard for the truth, it was safe to assume that the President did not hold any phone conversation with King Mohammed VI of
Morocco. It added that the party would be glad if Jonathan could prove, conclusively, that he spoke with the King.
The party said, “Whereas Morocco was unequivocal in denying that its king had any phone conversation with President Jonathan, saying ‘Morocco is surprised at the incredible twist given by Nigeria to an alleged phone conversation that never took place between HM King Mohammed VI and Nigerian President’, the Nigerian Presidency has been less forthcoming, instead opting to engage in shadow-chasing.
“Because of this unnecessary controversy over a phone discussion, Nigerians have now been branded liars. This is very serious, considering Nigeria’s standing in Africa. We, therefore, expect that any serious administration would not have hesitated to come clean on what really transpired, instead of dissipating its energy on abuses.”
The APC noted that while its earlier, “measured statement” was borne out of patriotism, rather than partisanship, the President’s “increasingly-rabid, leading attack dog” frittered away the opportunity to convince Nigerians that his principal did not just conjure up the idea of speaking with the king: “In the true tradition of the Jonathan administration to ignore the message and attack the messenger, those who should bury their heads in shame for dragging their nation to the realm of the abyss simply engaged in their usual pastime.
“It is indeed those who have disgraced Nigeria locally and internationally that lack patriotism. The incompetent and clueless presidency has now further transformed to a lying presidency.”
According to the opposition party, the global opprobrium, which the Jonathan administration has brought on Nigeria could only be imagined, with the likes of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, firing darts at Nigeria, which played a frontline role in that country’s independence, and the military of less-endowed neighbouring countries belittling Nigeria’s military despite its globally-acclaimed role in the maintenance of peace and security in the sub-region.