Forget it, GEJ will not apologise for Morocco ‘phone call’ fiasco – Foreign Minister

by Godwin Akanfe

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, on Tuesday  said President Goodluck Jonathan cannot be held responsible for the purported telephone conversation with the King of Morocco, King Mohammed VI, and as such cannot apologize.

Wali also urged Nigerians particularly office holders not to politicize the current face-off between Nigeria and Morocco, adding that the President had no hand in it.

He said if after the ongoing investigation, there is a need to apologize, it is he the Minister that will do so and not the President.

Jonathan had last Friday admitted that he never had telephone conversation with the King Mohammed VI of Morocco. He had further ordered a thorough investigation into the misinformation stating that officers found culpable dealt with accordingly.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had insisted that President Jonathan spoke with the monarch, who is the head of government in the country.

Irked by the development, the Moroccan government had recalled the it’s Ambassador to Nigeria.

Fielding questions from journalists at the Presidential Villa Abuja, after meeting with President Jonathan, Wali said he had swung into action to carry out the President’s directive to fish out the culprits behind the misinformation that has led to diplomatic row.

According to him, “I have already taken action on the President’s directive and of course some people are trying to make this whole thing political. And of course, at this level of our diplomacy, a lot of things can happen. So we are trying to find out, and I will like to say that the President has nothing to do with it. This is something that has happened and there is a bit of mix up somewhere a long the line. We are going to unravel it.”

“So the President has nothing to do with it. Therefore, people should not, like I hear some senators from the oppposition asking the President to apologise to the country. Now this is, if at all there is anybody who is going to apologise, and I being the Minister of Foreign Affairs, will be the one to apologise and not Mr. President”.

Asked if he was accepting his culpability in the whole saga, Wali replied, “Well, I am investigating, if at all there is anybody who should apologise, it is after the investigation. Whatever it is, that is the time we will come out with…..But now there is no reason to apologise because we cannot pre-judge and we believe in due process. So the President gave directive and I am looking into it and by the time we get to the bottom of the investigations, then the public will know”.

On if the statement went out without his knowledge, the Minister said, “It is something that I am digging into. The President asked me to look into it and I am looking into it”.

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