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Queen Elizabeth: Nigerians are mourning, says Buhari

Author:
Ayodele Oluwafemi

President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigerians are in a state of mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The late monarch died on Thursday at the age of 96.

On Saturday, the president paid a condolence visit to Catriona Laing, the British high commissioner to Nigeria.

Buhari, who was represented by Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), met with Laing in Abuja.

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During the visit, Mustapha signed the book of condolence on behalf of Buhari.

The SGF said the federal government and Nigerians are currently mourning the death of Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

Mustapha recounted the visits of the late British monarch to Nigeria while emphasising the mutual ties between both countries since 1901.

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“On behalf of the president and government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the president has personally asked me to come and convey his condolences, he has already done that officially, and to sign the condolence register on behalf of the government and the people of Nigeria,” Mustapha said.

“The Queen was not only a monarch to us in Nigeria, she represented several things, having visited this country two times, the first was three years after her ascension to the throne in 1953, spent a period of about 20 days in Nigeria visiting different cities.

“Most of those cities still remember her in our youthful days. Then she came visiting again, when President Obasanjo invited her, I think it was for CHOGM, in 2003. Her residence then, I think, was Aguda House.

“So on this occasion, like I said, I came on behalf of the president to extend the deepest condolences of the people of Nigeria.

“The loss is not only to the people of the UK, to the Commonwealth, but for us in Nigeria, particularly because for a period of three years, she was our head of state after independence.

“In 1960-1963, before we became a republic, the Queen was the head of state. We had a governor-general, it was after she vacated being the head of state that our then governor-general, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, of blessed memory became our first president.

“So there is this mutual ties that have existed between Nigeria, since Nigeria became a protectorate of the British in 1901. And that mutual bond of friendship, of camaraderie, of togetherness that we have experienced, continues to succeed.

“I can assure you that the Nigerian government is in a state of mourning, and the people of Nigeria are mourning like other members of the Commonwealth.

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“So on this occasion, please do extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the immediate family of the new king now King Charles III, and the people of Great Britain.”

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