The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to apologize to Nigerians for the embarrassment that he has caused them over his phantom phone conversation with the King of Morocco.
"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 party said in a statement issued in Lagos on Friday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
It said based on the antecedents of the Jonathan Administration, which has little or no regard for the truth, it is safe to assume that the President did not hold any phone conversation with King Mohammed VI of Morocco, adding, however, that the party would be glad if President Jonathan can prove, conclusively, that he spoke with the King.
"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," APC said.
"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 party added.
APC said 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," the party said.
It said the global opprobrium which the Jonathan Administration has brought on Nigeria can only be imagined, with the likes of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe firing darts at Nigeria - which played a front-line role in his country's independence - and the militaries of less-endowed neighboring countries belittling Nigeria's military, despite its globally-acclaimed role in the maintenance of peace and security in the sub-region.
"It is now clear that the legendary clueless and incompetence of the Jonathan Administration did not end with the mess they have made of running the country, but also extends to their ineptitude in international diplomacy. Nigerians who are tired of this do-nothing administration have been handed another reason to vote it out on March 28th," APC said.