Nigerian government rejects removal of Egypt’s democratically elected president, Morsi

Mohammed Morsi
Mohamed Morsi

The Nigerian government has condemned the ouster of Egypt’s democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, by the country’s military, saying it viewed the development as well as the suspension of the constitution with grave concern.

It therefore called for the immediate restoration of constitutional rule in the country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Thursday the development is “a truncation of the aspirations of the Egyptian people to freely express themselves through the ballot box.”

The statement added, “This unfortunate development is a gross violation of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, which prohibits unconstitutional change of government. It constitutes a serious setback to the remarkable progress which Africa has made in fostering the culture of democratic governance in the continent.

“Nigeria calls for the immediate restoration of the democracy order in Egypt and urges the Egyptian Armed Forces to allow the democratic culture to thrive in the country.”

Meanwhile, a federal lawmaker has described the removal of Mr.  Morsi and suspension of the country’s constitution  as an aberration and a threat to democratic sustainability in Africa.

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Segun Olulade, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Strategy, Security and Publicity, Lagos State House of Assembly, said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos on Thursday.

“The Egyptian military, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, should not have indulged in a coup, but rather, should have called for regional interventions to persuade President Mohammed Morsi,’’ he said.

According to him, there could have been a demand for international sanctions when and where necessary.

The lawmaker said that democratic options had, over time, proved to be the best strategies in bringing lasting solution to problems in a democratic setting.

He said that military coups would only deepen the wounds and worsen the existing animosity among warring political factions.

Mr. Olulade recalled that Egypt was the first country in Africa to witness a  military take-over of the reins of government in post-colonial Africa, as led by Gen. Abdel Nasser.

He said that African democrats and their military counterparts should apply caution in handling sensitive issues that were of paramount concern to the welfare of their people and well-being of their nations.

The lawmaker noted that the situation in Egypt was likely to result in a prolonged constitutional crisis, if the pro-Morsi forces were able to sustain their claim to power against the newly installed government.

Mr. Olulade appealed to all political factions in Egypt to embrace peace and dialogue as a panacea to finding a lasting solution to the situation in the country.

He said that the critical import of peaceful dialogue, conflict management, negotiation and mutual bargaining in resolving crises in any democratic society could never be over-emphasised.

Following Morsi’s ouster, Adly Mahmud Mansour,  the top judge of Egypt’s Constitutional Court, , was on Thursday sworn in as interim leader.

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