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INSECURITY: SENATORS CHANT ‘BUHARI MUST GO’

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Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Account, Senator Matthew Urhoghide (left); Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; Senate Minority Leader, Senator Philip Aduda; Senator Chukwuka Utazi and others during briefing on threat to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari for insensitivity to insecurity in the country at National Assembly, Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ATEKO

• To give President impeachment notice after six-week ultimatum

• Opposition Senators stage walkout on Lawan for reneging on collective decision

• Adeyemi: Ultimatum a collective decision of Senate

• FG: Threat to abduct Buhari laughable propaganda

• FCTA directs Abuja private schools’ closure• NYSC begs Army for deployment of soldiers to orientation camps

• Nigeria has a lazy, uncaring Commander-in-Chief, says Odinkalu

Piqued by worsening insecurity in the country, Senators, across political parties, yesterday, gave President Muhammadu Buhari an ultimatum of six weeks to properly address the situation or face immediate impeachment.

Attempts to raise the motion to that effect on the Senate floor by the Minority Leader, Senator Philip Aduda, was turned down by the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan earlier, after resuming plenary on Wednesday.

Even after a closed-door meeting, where the Senators agreed to issue the ultimatum publicly, Lawan was reluctant to buy in and make the decision public; hence, Aduda led others in the walk-out on a protest march to address the media.

The Senate was unusually silent on Tuesday when it kept mum on the issue amid glaring danger lurking in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the recent threats by terrorists to abduct President Muhammadu Buhari, the Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai and lawmakers in the country.

The silence, The Guardian gathered, was due to Lawan’s overbearing influence and his quest for the legislature to be seen as loyal to the Executive.

Aduda and other senators who staged the walkout from the chamber, yesterday, chanted: ‘All we are saying, Buhari must go’.

The Minority Leader, while addressing newsmen, said they went into a closed-door session, where they deliberated on various security issues.

“We agreed that we will give the President an ultimatum, failing which we will move to give an impeachment notice.

“This was our agreement at the executive session, but when we came out, the Senate President refused to inform the public of our resolution. Since that didn’t happen, we had come here in protest to let Nigerians know that we are with them. Insecurity in Nigeria is out of hand and urgent steps needed to be taken so that the issues are addressed immediately.”

Prominent senators, who joined the protest include President Buhari’s senator, Ahmad Babba Kaita; Adamu Bulkachuwa (Bauchi North, APC), Enyinnaya Abaribe (APGA, Abia South), Ibrahim Shekarau (NNPP, Kano Central) and Francis Onyewuchi (Labour Party, Imo East).

On whether the six weeks is not too long, they said they have to start from somewhere. Senator Smart Adeyemi, representing Kogi East, said it was the decision of the Senate, saying it is wrong to say opposition senators gave the ultimatum.

“It was a collective decision of the Senate to give ultimatum. We are giving the President six weeks. On the impeachment notice, after six weeks, we will sit down and start discussion. The opposition said we must give notice of impeachment, but we insisted it had to be six weeks ultimatum. They said after six weeks what happens, we said they should wait till after six weeks first.”

In a closing remark before the upper chamber adjourned for its yearly recess, Lawan told security agencies in the country to be alert and do more to stop the spate of insecurity across the country.

He assured that the National Assembly would provide the needed support to the military to ensure the restoration of security to affected parts of the country.

The Senate President informed lawmakers that they might be called upon during recess to attend to national emergencies should the need arise. Lawan fixed September 20 as resumption from the yearly vacation.

The Federal Government, on Wednesday, described as laughable propaganda, the threat issued by the Abuja-Kaduna train terrorists to abduct President Buhari and el-Rufai. Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, spoke while briefing newsmen after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Following the Senate resolution on the impeachment of the President if nothing was done in the next six weeks to deal with the issue, Mohammed noted that President Buhari is not unaware of the security challenges in the country, but stated that efforts were on to bring the situation under control.

He said: “Most of the questions have to do with the security situation. I want to assure you that the President is aware of all these and as a matter of fact, I think tomorrow, there’s going to be another Security Council meeting.

“So, it’s not a matter the President is taking lightly and like I’ll always, say some of the measures we’re going to take are not measures that you can discuss openly here, but we’re as concerned as you are, we’re not going to abandon our responsibility.

“As to those who have issued threats to Mr. President, I think it’s more of propaganda than anything. It’s laughable,” he said.

MEANWHILE, the Federal Capital Territory Authority has directed the closure of all private schools in Abuja. The directive comes amid threats of attacks in the capital city.

Earlier, the Federal Ministry of Education had ordered the immediate closure of one of its Unity Colleges, the Federal Government College Kwali, located in Kwali Area Council of the FCT.

However, in a statement signed by the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools in Nigeria, Abuja, it was gathered that the directive to shut down schools came from the FCT Education secretariat.

The message reads: “Dear school educators, instruction reaching me now from the Ag. Director DQA is that the FCT Education secretariat has directed that schools are to make sure all examinations going on should be ended by Wednesday, July 27, and all students including those in boarding should be allowed to go home for the holiday.

“Those writing external examinations and schools that have planned their end of year speech and prize giving day beyond Wednesday, could go ahead as planned but must put adequate security in place to safeguard both students and staff of their schools, you are addressed strictly to the above instructions.”

Confirming the authenticity of the statement, the publicity secretary, NAPPS, Abuja, Peter Edoh, said, “Yes. It is very true.”

AS aftermath of terrorists’ attack on Kuje prison in the Abuja leaving residents apprehensive and agitated, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have raised the alarm over possible occupation of Abuja by terrorists.

The Country Director, Global Rights Nigeria, Biodun Bayeiwu, said if terrorists could ambush Brigade of Guards on Bwari-Kubwa Road while on routine patrol, residents are at the mercy of the terrorists who have such bravery.

Bayeiwu said: “If the attack on the Brigade of Guards is anything to go by, then we are not at a good place. It is going to take a doubling of efforts and strategy to contain them.

“It is time for government to declare a red alert for Abuja. It is clear that the terrorists are spoiling for a showdown.”

The Convener, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution (CDNDC), Ariyo-Dare Atoye, described the security situation as wrong signal to the entire country and the international community.

Atoye said: “The security situation in the nation’s capital territory has deteriorated to an embarrassing level, but not beyond the knowledge of the government in power, which has refused to act to the full extent of our law enforcement powers.

“It is becoming evident to Nigerians that terrorists and their sympathisers have infiltrated our security architecture, making intelligence gathering a shit-show.

“It is now difficult to dismiss insinuations that there could be an inherent plot to allow insecurity to fester to truncate the 2023 elections with the declaration of a state of emergency.

“Unfortunately, in all of this, President Buhari has continued to appear calm and aloof from the reality of the dangerous storms that have made landfall on our shores.”

He added: “If the President is unwilling to act decisively, the National Assembly should be willing to empower Nigerians to bear arms and defend themselves.”

THE Governing Board of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), led by its Chairperson, Ambassador Fatima Balla Abubakar, on Wednesday, appealed to the Nigerian Army to deploy more soldiers for the protection of NYSC orientations camps spread across the 36 states of the country and Abuja in view of the security situation in the country.

Speaking when the board paid a visit to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya, at Army headquarters in Abuja, Abubakar said: “The NYSC has orientation camps, which houses a minimum of 1,500 corps members in all the states and given the incidences of insecurity in the country, we are concerned about the safety of the young men and women under our care.

“We are not unaware of the security situation in the country and the many areas that require the attention of the Nigerian Army. However, we have come to you for more support, bearing in mind that the NYSC is the baby of the Nigerian Army.”

Responding, the Chief of Army Staff assured the NYSC board that the army would continue to ensure the protection of NYSC orientation camps and corps members.

FORMER Chairman of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, has, however, described the President as a “lazy and uncaring Commander-in-Chief.” The human rights lawyer disclosed this while speaking on the state of insecurity on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme yesterday.

He berated him for jetting out of the country a few hours after operatives of the Guard Brigade were ambushed and gunned down by terrorists in Abuja.

Odinkalu said it was more frustrating that the President travelled to Liberia to speak on security while leaving an insecure country behind. He countered the argument that state governors should also be blamed for the security challenges faced by the country, insisting that: “Security cannot be outsourced to the state, all the security services have only one operational chief and that is the President.

“If you are talking about the police, the army, the navy, the SSS, the NIA, the Directorate of Military Intelligence, National Security Adviser, everyone reports through one channel to one person. The President is not just a Commander-in-Chief, he is the operational head of all of these agencies, they report to him.

“A president who is present will contain that security damage. The tragedy of our current crisis is that President Buhari is neither present nor capable of providing leadership. Even worst, he does not care.”

The lawyer also warned that elections may not take place in many parts of Nigeria in 2023 unless something is done urgently to tackle insecurity.

The Guardian

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QUEEN ELIZABETH (1926-2022)

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The world stood still on last as Queen Elizabeth II, United Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch, died at Balmoral Castle, Aberdeen, Scotland, aged 96, after reigning for 70 years. The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social and political change not just in her kingdom but also around the world.

As provided for by royal tradition, her son Prince Charles, who was also the longest serving the Prince of Wales, spanning almost five decades, automatically ascended the throne as King Charles III.

Expectedly tributes have been pouring in from around the World in honour of this most distinguished lady who in many ways became a symbol of the best standards of royal culture in Western Europe. As a former British colony, Nigeria joined other world leaders in mourning the British monarch.

President Muhammadu Buhari described as sad the news the passing of Queen Elizabeth ll who performed her duty to the very last minute when she invited Liz Truss to form the next government barely two days before her death.

New United Kingdom Prime Minister, Liz Truss, said the death of Her Majesty the Queen is a huge shock to the nation and to the world. According to her, the late Queen’s life of service stretched beyond living memories, and in return, she was loved and admired by the people in the United Kingdom, the Realms and territories of the Commonwealth which she headed. and all around the world.

President of the United States of America, Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden said in a joint statement that the Queen in her lifetime defined an era. “The thoughts and prayers of people all across the United States are with the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in their grief,” the statement said.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has described the late queen of England as a champion of social change and a protagonist of modern Britain. He said Queen Elizabeth was a well-loved sovereign. On his party, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that he was ‘deeply saddened’ over the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, saying ‘her unwavering, lifelong dedication will be long remembered.’ “She was a good friend to the UN and a reassuring presence through decades of change,” Guterres said.

Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth). Her father acceded to the throne in 1936 upon the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII, making Elizabeth the heir presumptive. She was educated privately at home and began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service.

In November 1947, she married Philip Mountbatten, a Prince of Greece and Denmark, and their marriage lasted 73 years until his death in April 2021. They had four children: King Charles, Anne, the Princess Royale; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. When her father died in February 1952, Elizabeth—then 25 years old—became Queen.

Significant events include Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver, Golden, Diamond, and Platinum jubilees in 1977, 2002, 2012, and 2022, respectively. Elizabeth was the longest-lived British monarch and the second-longest reigning sovereign in world history, only behind Louis XIV of France. She also installed 15 Prime Ministers of UK.

Queen Elizabeth II held the record for the most countries visited by an individual monarch. She visited more than 120 countries on six continents. Canada is the country she travelled to more than any other country outside the United Kingdom.

We also recall that in 1956, Queen Elizabeth II visited Nigeria, three years after she ascended the throne. Sir James Robertson served as governor-general during this period, making him a proxy to the throne. During her visit, she toured the country with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. She spent a total of 20 days from 28 January to 16 February.

The second time Elizabeth II visited Nigeria was in 2003, hosted by then president Olusegun Obasanjo. The purpose of her visit was to open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting which was in held Abuja on Friday, 5 December.

Indeed, Nigeria and the United Kingdom enjoy a special relationship. The United Kingdom is regarded as a second home to many Nigerians. According to reports, there were approximately 178,000 Nigerian nationals residing in the United Kingdom as at 2021.

Also, according to a data by UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency, the number of Nigerians studying in the United Kingdom (UK) has risen from 13,020 in the 2019/2020 academic session to 21,305 by the 2020/2021 session. The figure, which amounts to an almost 64 per cent increase within a year.

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THE QUEEN’S BRITAIN STOLE OUR FUTURE

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QUEEN Elizabeth II’s exit from the mortal plane was bound to excite extreme sentiments because she personified the good, bad and ugly of our history. She was historically and politically our “mother”, who wore the British crown with such charm, charisma, grace and majesty that truly inspired.

By Ochereome Nnanna

How much of the British legacies in Nigeria can we attribute to (or blame on) the late Queen? Or, how many of the British legacies can we not attribute to, or blame on, her? Though a ceremonial, constitutional monarch, the Queen retained the post of Commander-in-Chief of the British forces with the power to declare war as she did over the Falklands in 1982.

Every new Prime Minister still went to her to collect the instrument of power. No major decision was taken without consulting with her. She remained the Head of State of 14 independent countries and leader of the 54-member Commonwealth consisting of over 2.5 billion people; a third of the world’s population.

In her 70 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth was forced by circumstances beyond her control to superintend over the dissolution of the British Empire through the granting of independence to the former colonies. The manner in which Nigeria’s independence was packaged is responsible for the crises we are still experiencing. Any building with a faulty foundation will collapse sooner or later. But the kind of foundation that Britain laid for Nigeria was such that it would neither stand nor fall. Britain opted for this kind of foundation so that, in cahoots with some anointed local agents, it would continue to manipulate and exploit the system long after independence.

In 1914, Frederick Lugard amalgamated Nigeria in a manner of mixing water and oil. Water and oil can be in the same bowl but they will never mix. The Northern Protectorate (the Sokoto Caliphate, which was already an Islamic Republic) was saddled upon the Southern Protectorate ruled by indigenous kings whose people were rapidly embracing the Christian faith and Western outlook.

Nigeria should have been three countries or at least, a confederation of three or more autonomous regions with the free option by any of its constituents to quit the union. But, due to British interests, the North was saddled on the South; a neo-imperialist arrangement that remains till today.

The Queen herself supervised the final packaging of Nigeria for independence that doomed her permanently. The first was the lopsided manner in which the electoral constituencies were shared between the North and South just before the pre-independence regional and federal elections between 1958 and 1959. Though the population of the South was more than that of the North, the North was given more electoral constituencies.

The North, with its huge landmass was made one region, while the South, which was roughly one-third its size, was split into two regions. The geopolitical advantages were massively stacked in favour of the North. Also, the military advantages were in the North’s favour both in terms of institutional locations and personnel recruitment. The North was placed in a position to dominate, whether under democratic or military rule, with Britain always behind it against the South.

There is this allegation of a British secret pact with the Sokoto Caliphate which is not part of Nigeria’s official history. According to this notion, the British authorities, after a mock military exercise in a secret location in Sokoto, handed Nigeria over to the Sultan and the Northern People’s Congress, NPC, leaders. If you hear some Fulani ethnic irredentists boasting that Nigeria “belongs” to them, it is probably an offshoot of this alleged exercise. We can also see it in their leaders’ pattern of handling the South like their colony.

It is evident in the parasitic tendency of Northerners. They take over commanding sectors of the economy exploitatively and consumptively, not productively. These include the Military, Police, Customs, the Ports Authority, the oil sector, the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), Immigration, the Judiciary, and others. Nigeria is set up to enable the North exploit the South while maintaining the negotiated privileges of Britain.

Queen Elizabeth’s British configuration of Nigeria is such that you need Northern approval before you can change anything.  Before the North gives its approval, it must listen to Britain first. This is why all coups planned by Southerners and Middle Belt officers failed with mass executions, while Northern coups were mostly bloodless “palace” coups. This was why Biafra failed to secede, and anything “Biafra” is addressed with military nihilism.

This is why “restructuring” has failed after over 50 years of agitation by Southern politicians and pro-democracy activists. This is why the Constitution cannot be amended to correct imbalances and promote equity. This is why peaceful change is impossible in Nigeria and development is retarded. And this is why the country is bleeding from all pores and the system is imploding.

Even those who thought the system the British left behind benefited them are worse off in every item of the human development index. They are fleeing their region in their thousands everyday to shelter in the same South they have dominated like internal colonialists.

Sometimes people ask the question: why continue to blame Britain for our woes after over 60 years of independence? We have just painted a picture. So, it is not as if people have not tried to peacefully or violently to correct Britain’s deliberate act of rigging Nigeria against Nigerians for their own benefit.

Today, when our leaders are sick (which is most of the time) they run to Britain. When they want to educate their children, they send them to Britain or America. When they steal our money, they hide it in British banks. And when we chase after them, they run to Britain. Would these be the case if Nigeria were normal?

Queen Elizabeth’s Britain stole the future of Nigeria!

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NIGERIA, DEATH OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II AND THE VERDICT OF HISTORY

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The death, few days ago, of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, no doubt, has brought to an end a chequered chapter in the history of mankind; a historic chapter that saw Britain pioneering the industrial revolution and also a chapter that marked remarkable expansionism and acquisition of colonial territories by the British Monarchy solely for economic exploitation of the indigenous peoples.

By Malachy Chuma Ochie

For purposes of clarification, the British monarchy from its inception is a form of constitutional government whereby a hereditary sovereign rules as the head of state, not just of the United Kingdom but also of the Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories.

The monarchy is also recognized as the head of the British Armed Forces. In real terms the British monarchy wields enormous powers such that it is its royal prerogative to appoint the British Prime Minster. This monarchy traces its origins to the 10th century when medieval England and Scotland consolidated into the kingdoms of England and Scotland. The institution of the monarchy in Britain has a rich history.

Queen Elizabeth II succeeded her father, King George VI in 1952 after his father, who had dined with his wife as well as Elizabeth’s younger sister, Princess Margaret, passed on in his sleep. Though she was designated as Queen, it was not until 1953 that she was formally crowned at Westminster Abbey. Incidentally, at the point she knew she was the Queen designate; she was in Kenya savouring the beauty and natural endowments of that East African country. She will be remembered as monarch who reigned longest in Britain’s history.

Without doubt, the Queen represented so many things to so many people. Expectedly, since her death the global media have been awash with tributes pouring in from world leaders. As a person, I mourn the Queen passionately, probably not for the same reasons Britons are mourning. Fundamentally, I mourn because she was of the family of God. God enjoins us in His word to mourn with those who mourn even as we rejoice with them that rejoice in times of joy.

I mourn because she played significant roles in the decolonization process of African states, it is also on record that British colonialism brought “light and civilization” to a “Dark and benighted” African continent; a people “without root and history”; a people “stewed in savagery and barbarism”. After all it was the British missionaries that brought us the “word of God” through which such evil customs and traditions like killing of twins, human sacrifice and worship of dead gods were exorcised from the consciousness of the native Africans.

In discharging this “divinely ordained” assignment, the British monarchy initiated policies that would permanently distort the space and mind of the Africans. We were to be sanctified with the word of God; our stony hearts were meant to be removed and replaced with hearts of flesh. Unfortunately, the British succeeded in creating more atavistic Africans that have raped and ripped off the African continent by a devious British acquiescence.

The British monarchy originated the twin evils of slave trade and colonialism; devious systems through which the monarchy sustained its policy of exploitation and expropriation. For instance, the British monarchy was instrumental to the establishment, expansion, and maintenance of the British Empire and the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The English Empire was first proclaimed in 1532 AD by Henry VIII. It was Queen Elizabeth I that granted the Royal Charter (an instrument of incorporation) to noted slave traders. In 1660, King Charles II formed the Royal African Company in 1660, which extracted gold and ivory from Ghana (then known as Gold Coast). Through the trans-Atlantic slave trade, hundreds of thousands of Africans were transported to the new world especially the Americas; with the initials of the slave merchants burned with hot iron into the body of each slave. Only a monarchy driven by the most grotesque evil could unleash such ill-treatment to fellow human beings. The British monarch’s global significance and power stemmed directly from the enslavement of people of colour.

The establishment of the Commonwealth by the monarchy is also misleading. Composed of about 52 “independent and equal” member states, members of the Commonwealth are anything but equal. The Commonwealth emerged from post-WWII decolonization process as a means of reassuring the British public that the demise of the British Empire would not diminish Britain’s global prestige. The monarchy is head of the Commonwealth. The role of head of the Commonwealth allows the monarch to continue their position of international privilege and influence, which stems from colonial histories.

I mourn because in 70yrs on the throne, the British Monarchy failed to correct several historical injustices, which its colonial policies entrenched and have sustained in several parts of the world. Unlike the colonial policy of the French, which espoused the principle of “assimilation”, the British Monarchy promoted a policy a deliberate exclusion, divide and rule, expropriation of labour and resources and purposeful stealing of indigenous crafts of the local people.

The British Monarchy, it’s argued, is responsible for most of the crisis we have in our world today. The British Monarchy, for instance, is responsible for the no love-lost between India and Pakistan. Britain created the problem called Kashmir region, a region that has been the driver of several conflicts between India and Pakistan. Britain created the crisis in Sudan by its colonial policies of creating a large political structure in the form of countries just to satiate its insatiable appetite for economic exploitation. There wouldn’t have been the Darfur tragedy if British Monarchy didn’t authorize the merging of north and south Sudan.

This British colonial policy of acquiring territories for economic exploitation without taking into cognizance of the history, culture and religion of the people has been the basis for incandescent ethnic nationalism in many African states. The same is true of many countries in Asia and the Middle-East.

It is also true that the British Monarchy created the monster called Nigeria by unilaterally lumping together disparate ethnic nations as one country. Even one of the key players in the fraud called Nigeria, Sir Peter Smithers and former Principal Press Secretary to British Colonial Secretary, Alan Lennox-Boyd, who died in 2006, confessed to the tragic monster Britain created and called Nigeria. Smithers died at the age of 92yrs. In the London Times of Wednesday, July 15, 1998, with the headline banner “Nigerian Lesson” duly signed by Sir Peter Smithers he said, and permit me to quote him:

“During the negotiations for the independence of Nigeria, the view of the Secretary of State at that time, with which I agreed, was that in Nigeria we should attempt to put together a large and powerful state with ample material resources, which would play a leading part in the affairs of the continent and of the world. This was attractive but it involved forcing several different ethnic and cultural groups into a single political structure. The negotiations were complex and very difficult, the chief problem as I remember relating, significantly, to the control of the police and the military. In the retrospect of 40 years, it is clear that this was a grave mistake that has cost many lives and will probably continue to do so. It would have been better to establish several smaller states in a free-trade area. In exculpation, it must be said that we did not then have the examples of the collapse of Yugoslavia and of the Soviet Union before our eyes. I should now be clear for but the willfully blind to see that it is extremely dangerous to force diverse racial and social entities into a single rigid political structure such as that which is being built upon the foundation of the Maastricht Treaty. Recent history suggests that it would be best to complete the development of the Common Market and to call a halt to political integration in Europe.” Those were the exact words of Sir Peter Smithers.

In her 70 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II and British establishment saw nothing wrong with the contraption called Nigeria but has continued to sweep the Nigerian conundrum under the carpet. In the face of mounting challenges facing the Nigerian state, in terms of civil unrest, poverty, under-development, terrorism, militancy, banditry, struggle for self-determination etc, we cannot but conclude that the foundations of these ailments were laid by the British even before our political independence. There are clear evidences that the British meddled with the independence elections to ensure that they enthroned their preferred candidates in power through which they can remotely control the destiny of Nigeria.

Nigerian leaders, with the active connivance of the British have remained stiff-necked and unwilling to unbundle the contraption called Nigeria simply to sustain Nigeria as its biggest market in Africa. They are afraid that addressing the Nigerian question would divide the country; a country that has been divided along its worst seams already. Without doubt, Nigeria’s many problems could be traced to the criminal amalgamation in 1914 of the northern and southern protectorates. Is it any wonder then that someone like Smithers would conclude that if the issues of Nigeria’s union is not addressed, the country would continue to experience internal strife, corruption and under-development.

While it made administrative sense to the British to amalgamate the South of Nigeria the north, there was no practical sense in it; essentially because despite the nearness of the north and south of Nigeria there were fundamental differences in their peoples, religion and culture. The major reason for the amalgamation was to release the northern protectorate from the leading strings of the British treasury. The intention was to use the surplus economic resources from the south to sustain the northern protectorate.

In implementing the mandate of the amalgamation, Lugard constructed a Nigerian state with strong regional governments and a weak centre. This effectively ensured that the North was protected from Southern influence. In 1946, the British colonial government further divided Southern Nigeria into two regions: East and West. The North was left intact and so retained its position as the dominant region both in population and landmass. This created an imbalance and tilted the balance towards Northern Nigeria. Furthermore, the adoption of indirect rule system did not help in building a homogenous country. The system was a great success in the north as the central nature of local administration made it easy for the British to control the people using their local political structure. Indirect rule was partially successful in the west and not successful in the east. The British deliberately discouraged nation building and national integration

The British’s divide-and-rule policy is evident in the educational policies it pursued; for example, while the south was exposed to western education, the north was, as a matter of British deliberate policy, protected from the “adulterating” influence of western civilization. A more serious demonstration of the policy of divide-and-rule was the introduction of parliamentary politics in the south in 1922 without a corresponding introduction to the north. It took 25yrs to do so in the north. That was in 1947. It was under this political arrangement that the British ruled the country thereby sowing seeds of separation rather than cohesion. The Land and Native Rights Ordinance of 1910, which created separate laws for landowners in the north and south, contributed in making visible ethnic divide and instilled ethnic consciousness. The result of such policies is the separation of southerners in the north from the indigenous Hausa/Fulani people who lived within walled cities.

We can continue this expose ad infinitum. In whatever way we look at it, we cannot run away from the conclusion that the British monarchy has done more harm than good especially in Nigeria. And so when some individuals call for the renaming of our premier university of the seat of government to Queen Elizabeth II, one runs away with the impression that proponents of such idea could have brains stuffed with cotton wool. It is such crude mentality that would provoke another to suggest that the Queen should have died a slow and painful death.

While I am not disposed to any of the foregoing opinions, I am persuaded that if history is history indeed, it would be on the wrong side of the British monarchy, which Queen Elizabeth II symbolized and personified for 70yrs; yet she did nothing to remedy these historical injustices. The new king still has a date with history. Who knows, he could trigger a remedial process that would reduce tensions in many countries and save lives. Irrespective of the gains we could attribute to the British monarchy, it is fair to conclude that it has done more harm than good. All the same, I commit the soul of the departed Queen into the hands of God who is the most righteous judge both of the living and the dead.

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