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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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Entertainment

DAY MICHAEL JACKSON WON EIGHT AWARDS

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16th January 1984 – Michael Jackson won for the first time in the history of the American Music Awards 8 of the desirable trophies.

The accolades began with his sweep of the 11th annual American Music Awards on Monday night, January 16th, winning a total of eight awards, including a special merit award. Michael received a record-breaking ten nominations for the American Music Awards. THRILLER was nominated for Best Pop Album, and Best Soul Album. Billie Jean was nominated for Best Pop Single and Best Soul Single. Beat It and Billie Jean were both nominated for Best Pop Video and Best Soul Video. And finally, Michael was nominated for Best Pop Male Vocalist and Best Soul Male Vocalist.

Michael attended the award ceremony accompanied by Webster star Emmanuel Lewis and his date for the evening was Brooke Shields. He was dressed for the occasion in a red Sergeant Pepper-style military style jacket covered with red sequins, cropped tuxedo pants, black aviator glasses, with a single black sequin glove; an appropriate uniform for what, considering the scope of his popularity, equated to the showbiz variant of a coronation.

Michael approached the podium 8 times that night to accept awards, a new record. THRILLER was named Best Pop Album and Best Soul Album. Billie Jean won as Best Pop Single, and Beat It was named Best Pop Video and Best Soul Video. Michael took top honors as Best Pop Male Vocalist and Best Soul Male Vocalist.

For his first, which is the AMA for Favorite Pop Single – Beat It, he says the following: “I don’t what I [fans screaming] … would – I’m very thankful and I’m very honored for this award. I don’t wanna make a long speech, I’m just – thank you very much. Bye. [smiles]”

His second award that night is for Favorite Soul Album – Thriller, for which he states: “Thank you very much. I’m deeply moved again to – to win this award. I’d like to thank Quincy Jones who’s a wonderful producer, and my mother and father who are in the audience – which I love very much – who brought me into the world. And I also thank the American public. Thank you.”

For Favorite Pop Album – Thriller, he has this to say: “[…] Again I – I’d like to thank everybody… thank you [smiles]. I’m – I’m deeply moved by accepting this award. And it was so much fun doing the album, ‘Thriller’. And I’d like to thank again Quincy Jones, and Bruce Swedien who’s the greatest engineer in the world. And, also, Rod Temperton and James Ingram for writing ‘PYT’ with Quincy Jones – thank you. And again, my mother and father who… taught me so much. And again I’d like to thank the disc-jokeys who played the record, ‘cause if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be here, so.. And I also would like to thank the public. Thank you very much.”

In addition to these awards Michael was honored for his lifetime career achievements as the year’s recipient of the Award of Merit. The Award of Merit was presented to Michael by Diana Ross and by the previous year’s winner, Kenny Rogers. Barry Manilow also took part in the tribute, singing Ben and a medley of Jackson 5ive hits. The presentation featured video taped messages from Michael’s closest friends, including Liza Minnelli, Katherine Hepburn, and Jane Fonda, who had this to say:

Michael, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve studied your tapes, trying to figure out what it is you do. I’ve decided you are a miracle. You have so much talent, the more you give of it, the more you seem to have. I’m so proud of you… and so proud to be your friend.

Winning the award at age 25, Michael is the youngest performer to ever receive the Award of Merit.

On receiving the special American Music Award Of Merit from singer/actress and long-time friend, Diana Ross, he declares: “Thank you. Thank you very much. I’m so deeply touched and deeply honored to receive this wonderful – Gosh, wonderful award… I thank you, American public; I thank Berry Gordy of Motown, who has been such an important part of my career and life. I thank again my mother and father who brought me into the world – Joseph Jackson and Katherine Jackson. I thank all my brothers – Tito, Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Randy, who I started with… and still am with. I thank Susanne de Passe who has been such an important influence in my life and has taught me so much. Thank you, Susanne. Quincy Jones is a wonderful person, not only is he an incredible producer, he is a wonderful man, he is such a family person, and I love him and we have made history together and I’m thankful. I thank one of my favorite people in the whole entire world, Miss Diana Ross and… she’s been such a special friend to me and taught me so many incredible, important things… and I’m so honored that she came here… I just hope I didn’t leave anybody out, I just – boy, the American public and I thank all the disc-jokeys and everybody, I love you so much and thank you.”

On winning the Favorite Soul Video award for Beat It: “This is wonderful. [To La Toya] Come here.. This is my sis.. oh, Bob Giraldi! [laughs] [who joins him on stage]. This is my sister, La Toya, I’m so honored she’s here, I didn’t know she was gonna bring this award. Working on ‘Beat It’ was a great experience. I had so much fun doing it, and this is my director, Bob Giraldi, whom I chose to be… I’ve put all my heart and my soul in my work and I’m so happy and honored that I won this wonderful award. Thank you.”, declares Jackson, more excited with each new award.

For Favorite Pop Video – Beat It, he is joined again on stage by director Bob Giraldi. “Again, I’d like to thank everybody. I’m so moved and so honored again… Thank you very much. I love you all. And one more – thank you, Michael Peters, you’re a wonderful person. Thank you.”, says Jackson.

On winning the American Music Award for Favorite Soul Male, the entertainer declares: “Again, I’m deeply moved and I really appreciate it, and the girls in the balcony, I love you, you’re wonderful. [laughs mildly] An important – an important chemistry in writing a song is inspiration and I’m holding one of inspirations – Emmanuel Lewis [best known for playing the title character in ‘Webster’].”.

For his last award that night, the Favorite Pop Male AMA, he smilingly concludes: “Thank you very much. It’s nothing more I can say, I love you all. Good-bye.”

Source: FB/Michael Jackson Fans Only

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History

I FOUGHT BECAUSE OF MY MOM – EVANDER HOLYFIELD

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According to the heavyweight champion, he was going to give up after losing to a fellow kid but his mom told him to hang on one more time.

He did twice until he beat his opponent. Then he didn’t want to quit anymore.

‘I didn’t lose a fight until I was eleven, but when I did, to a kid named Cecil Collins, it devastated me. I came home and told Mama I was quitting the sport. Big mistake.

‘You go on back in that ring and beat that boy!’ She said. This from a woman who didn’t want me boxing to begin with. ‘You don’t quit until you do what you set out to do!’ So I went back and fought Cecil again. And again I lost. ‘Go back and fight him again!’ Mama said.

I did, and this time I beat him. It felt wonderful, like I’d just climbed Mt. Everest or hit the winning home run in the World Series. ‘Well there you go!’ Mama said, beaming. ‘Now you can quit!’

I didn’t quit – there were some things even my wise Mama didn’t understand – but you get the point. If I hadn’t gone back in there and tried again and again, I probably would have spent a large part of my life regretting it. But Mama knew how I’d feel once I won, all proud and happy. Her attitude wasn’t, ‘See? I was right.’ It was, ‘Don’t you feel good having finished what you started?’ It was that feeling that shaped my later approach to life, not the fact that I’d done what Mama asked, and that’s why the lesson was so valuable. It really came from me; Mama just pushed me to get there.’

  • Evander Holyfield

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History

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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