The ship of Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has developed another embarrassing new leak after Morocco openly denied his claims and denounced his “unethical practices” as unbecoming, and recalled its ambassador.
"HM the King has actually declined the request of the Nigerian government because it is part of the internal electioneering and this country's fundamentally hostile positions with regard to the territorial integrity of the Kingdom," it said in an unusually strong statement.
It rebuffed Jonathan’s posturing after the Nigerian leader appeared to have tried to obtain political mileage with Muslim voters ahead of this month’s presidential election by claiming he had had a phone conversation with King Mohammed VI.
Last Sunday, the Nigerian government released a statement through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which it denied reports that the king had snubbed President Jonathan.
"This information is absolutely not correct as the president did in fact speak to the Moroccan monarch,” the statement said, adding that both men spoke extensively on the phone “on matters of mutual interest and concern.”
Absolutely not, Morocco's foreign ministry said in reply to that claim.
It asserted in the "clearest and strongest terms" that there had “never been a phone conversation" between Jonathan and the Moroccan monarch.
Explaining the recall of its ambassador “for consultation”, the North African nation was emphatic: "The kingdom of Morocco expresses its astonishment and denunciation to these unethical practices that are contrary to the spirit of responsibility that must prevail in relations between states."
The Jonathan campaign has suffered a lot of embarrassing reverses as he tries to win re-election, but the spat with Morocco is the most open, as it is happening in full view of the world.