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Goodluck Jonathan ‘President spoke to Morocco’s King,’ Nigeria insists

Morocco recalled its Ambassador to Nigeria after a disagreement arose as to whether a discussion had actually occurred.

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Former President, Goodluck Jonathan play

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan

(Telegraph UK)
King Mohammed VI of Morocco play

King Mohammed VI of Morocco

(Royalty In The News)

Nigerian authorities have insisted that President Goodluck Jonathan had a discussion with King Mohammed VI of Morocco despite the latter country’s denial of the reports.

Morocco recalled its Ambassador to Nigeria after a disagreement arose as to whether a discussion had actually occurred.

The North African country issued an initial statement saying that King Mohammed had turned down a request to speak to Jonathan due to the proximity of Nigeria’s elections.

However, in a swift response, Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs countered the statement saying that Jonathan had actually spoken to the monarch while the latter was in Paris.

Morocco denied the statement insisting "there has never been a phone conversation" between the two leaders.

However, in a conversation with Vanguard, an official of Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, who chose to remain anonymous, said that the two leaders had spoken.

“There was a discussion last Friday between the two Presidents on the next president of the AfDB. President Jonathan lobbied the Morocco president to support Nigeria candidate over the election coming up in May. Nigeria is suspecting mischief. We are thinking that there was misinformation somewhere,” the official said.

"The policy is that when your Ambassador misinforms his president, that Ambassador will be recalled to his country. It is wrong for Morocco not to support our candidature,” the source added.

A former Nigerian Ambassador to the US and other countries, Suleiman Dahiru however said that there is more to the issue than meets the eye.

“There is something fishy, because if there is any one to talk to in the Arab world on election, it should be the president of Saudi Arabia and not the king of Morocco,” he said.

“In diplomatic relations, it is a very serious issue to recall an Ambassador. Besides, Morocco is not a serious AU member. It sees itself as an Arab country but still in Africa. If Nigeria is seeking influence in the Arab world, Morocco is certainly, not the place to go but Saudi Arabia. In any case, Nigeria will not lose anything by the country recalling its Ambassador. They will be the one to lose,’’ Dahiru added.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged President Jonathan to address the matter to prevent Nigeria from being branded a liar by the international community.

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