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We are not supporting Biafra agitation – British envoy

Monday, 10 July 2017
Left: British envoy in Nigeria, His Excellency, Mr. Paul Arkwright


The British envoy to Nigeria Mr. Paul Arkwright has debunked claims by some Biafra agitators that the British government is backing their agitation to break away from Nigeria.

Speaking with journalists after he met with the Speaker of the Kwara state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ali Ahmad, on a courtesy visit in Ilorin at the weekend, the British envoy in Nigeria, His Excellency, Mr. Paul Arkwright, said British government was not in support of any agitation for breakup of Nigeria.

It is recalled that some agitators had claimed that some powerful nations like the US and UK were backing their agitation, while the US government had denied such claim.

“In a word No. We don’t have anything to do with anyone agitating for breakup of Nigeria. We are strongly in support of unity of Nigeria and Federal Government of Nigeria. And that’s what British government has consistently supported and we don’t have interest or in support of any one agitating for breakup of Nigeria. For anyone to say British governmental is involved in any way in breakup of Nigeria is completely wrong,” he said.

The British ambassador, who described Nigeria democratic situation as delicate, commended both the state government and the state House of Assembly on their efforts at upholding democratic tenets, and keeping the flame of democracy alive.

He said the British government was interested in getting more Nigerian women engaged in politics, added that he was happy with efforts of the state government and the House of Assembly in women participation, especially with women lawmakers holding leadership position in the House.

He said that percentage of women in politics was low in Nigeria, and charged the government to encourage more women in politics.

He also said that his government would continue to collaborate with state government in areas of education, and political development.

Also speaking, the Speaker described the visit as symbolic, saying that it was an attestation that British government was in support of Nigeria democracy.

“This has also deepened democracy in Nigeria and it sent a message that legislature is central to democracy. Unfortunately, many state Houses of Assembly in Nigeria are not functioning as expected. But we here at the House of Assembly have had cause to amicably defer with the executives despite the fact that we’re in same party,” he said.
Credit: Tribune Online

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