Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo is furious about reports that he traveled to Ethiopia for mediation.
On Tuesday, his spokesman, Kehinde Akinyemi, said his purported quote on the trip was false and libelous.
Akinyemi said there was no time he spoke on the mission of his boss to the North African country.
“The reporter gave me a phone call at about 10.00am on Monday to confirm Obasanjo’s destination to Ethiopia after giving a background of the visit, “and, I responded that, “he is already on his way” to the country. No more, no less.
“He wanted to know how long the visit would take, and I was not happy with such question, which he immediately apologized, bidding me bye. It came as a rude shock few hours later, when my boss called me telling me to go and withdraw what a newspaper published about me of having said of his trip.
“I was surprised and confused. I rushed to the site mentioned and to my amazement, I started reading my quoted words, as having said what the former President was going to Ethiopia to do. This is high point of jungle journalism. These were the words: “He is on his way to Addis Ababa for “talks”….“He is going there for mediation.”
“I put a call through to him and asked if I did mention the above statements, and he was talking about technology. My simple question is why did you put me on quote of what I do not say? I immediately demanded for retraction or I will approach the courts to seek redress. This is irresponsible publication coming from the figment of his own imagination.”
The Ethiopian government and the African Union (AU) had stated that they were not aware of Obasanjo’s visit.
He served as a United Nations (UN) peace envoy to DR Congo.
Ethiopia announced a military operation in the northern Tigray region on November 4.
This has forced thousands to run over the border into Sudan.