The Nigerian Government has condemned what it describes as an apparent coup d’état in the Republic of Guinea.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Esther Sunsuwa, made the position of the government known in a statement on Sunday.
According to the statement, the takeover of power by the military is in clear violation of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
“The Government of Nigeria strongly condemns and rejects any unconstitutional change of government and therefore calls on those behind this coup to restore constitutional order without delay and protect all lives and property,” it said.
The statement was issued following reports that special forces in Guinea have taken over power in what appears to be a new twist in the political unrest in the West African country.
As a result, incumbent President Alpha Conde who has been in office since December 2010, was said to have been arrested by the soldiers.
“We have decided, after having taken the president, to dissolve the constitution,” a uniformed officer flanked by soldiers wielding assault rifles was quoted as saying in a video sent to AFP.
The soldier announced that Guinea’s land and air borders have been shut and that the government had been dissolved.
Thereafter, the head of Guinea’s military special forces, Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, was said to have appeared on public television.
Wrapped in the country’s flag, Doumbouya revealed that his action was triggered by “mismanagement” by the government.
“We are no longer going to entrust politics to one man, we are going to entrust politics to the people,” the coup leader said. “Guinea is beautiful. We don’t need to rape Guinea anymore; we just need to make love to her.”
There has been lingering political tension in Guinea, first spurred by the bid for a third term by President Conde’s in 2020.
Another video sent to AFP showed a rumpled-looking President Conde sitting on a sofa, surrounded by troops.
The 83-year-old who survived an assassination attempt in 2011 refused to answer a question from a soldier about whether he was being mistreated while in their custody.
Sunday’s incident in Guinea has continued to attract condemnation and criticism, one of which was the reaction of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who asked the putschists to release Conde.
“I am personally following the situation in Guinea very closely,” he said in a social media post. “I strongly condemn any takeover of the government by force of the gun and call for the immediate release of President Alpha Conde.”