President Muhammadu Buhari has affirmed the significant role of the late Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, who passed on, on Thursday, September 8, 2022.
What did he say?
The president said that the UK under the late Queen stood by Nigeria during the Civil War between 1967 and 1970, and supported the country’s unity, which was under direct threat during the civil war. Buhari’s statement comes at a time when many Nigerians are questioning the late Queen’s role in the civil war, which many tagged as a genocide against the Igbo people of Southeastern Nigeria. The Nigerian social media space has been buzzing with a debate over the subject since Thursday when U.S-based Nigerian Prof. Uju Anya made a tweet expressing her displeasure over the Queen’s role in the civil war.
What’s the relevance of the president’s statement?
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, during a condolence visit to the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, at her residence in Abuja on Saturday, Buhari made the statement while noting the close relationship that has existed between Nigeria and the United Kingdom, especially since the beginning of the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth II. “We have maintained very close ties with the monarchy. She was a very gracious and elegant queen. They [UK] have been a very strong ally even in the midst of our difficult time during the Biafran war; they stood for the indivisibility of the Nigerian state, supported and ensured that we overcame that problem”, Buhari said.