Morocco Recalls Envoy From Nigeria Over Telephone Controversy With Jonathan

Morocco has recalled its ambassador from Nigeria and accused the Federal Government of using King Mohammed VI in an election campaign.

The Moroccan foreign ministry in a statement denied that King Mohammed had spoken on telephone to President Goodluck Jonathan.

The North Africa kingdom denounced the claim that Jonathan spoke with its monarch as “unethical practices,” according to a BBC report on Wednesday.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs had, in a statement on Monday, claimed that Jonathan had a telephone conversation with King Mohammed while he was in France, stating that it was preposterous to suggest that the President’s telephone call to the Moroccan monarch was intended to confer an electoral advantage on Jonathan.

“Since the King was in France and not in Morocco, both leaders spoke extensively over the phone on matters of mutual interest and concern that have nothing to do with the conduct of re-scheduled elections in Nigeria.

“It is therefore preposterous to suggest that Mr. President’s telephone call to the Moroccan monarch was intended to confer any electoral advantage on the President,” the statement read.

However, Morocco’s foreign ministry in its statement said in the “clearest and strongest terms that there has never been a phone conversation” between the two men.

“The king has actually declined the request of the Nigerian government because it is part of the internal electioneering,” Morocco’s official news agency Map quoted the statement as saying.

“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.”

“As a consequence, Morocco’s Abuja ambassador was being recalled immediately for consultations,” it said.

When contacted, the Director, Public Affairs Communication Division, MFA, Ahmedu Ogbole-Ode, said the ministry has not received an official communication from Morocco on the withdrawal of its envoy.

On the controversy over the telephone conversation between Jonathan and the Moroccan monarch, the director said the ministry would respond once it gets a directive from “higher authorities to do so.”

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