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Nigeria Morocco rift; Morocco recalls envoy — Insists King didn’t speak with Jonathan


The diplomatic row between Nigeria and Morocco assumed a new dimension recently, as the North African Kingdom recalled its Ambassador to Nigeria, accusing the Federal Government of using the name of King Mohammed VI for electoral gains. Morocco is angry over a statement by Nigeria’s Foreign Ministry that President Goodluck Jonathan spoke at length to the monarch by phone, a claim the kingdom said is “unethical practices.”

The Federal Government, however, denied that King Mohammed was being used to win over Muslim voters. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had released a statement, denying reports that President Jonathan had been snubbed by King Mohammed because he was trying to curry favour with Muslim voters.

“This information is absolutely not correct as the President did in fact speak to the Moroccan monarch… both leaders spoke extensively over the phone on matters of mutual interest and concern,” a BBC report, recently, quoted the Ministry as saying. Reuters also quoted the ministry as saying it was “preposterous to suggest that Mr. President’s telephone call to the Moroccan monarch was intended to confer any electoral advantage.”

Reacting to the statement, its Moroccan counterpart insisted “in the clearest and strongest terms, that there has never been a phone conversation between the King Mohammed VI and the president of this country.