…Queen Buried Close To Husband, Prince Philip At Windsor Castle
Britain said farewell to Queen Elizabeth II on Monday at a state funeral attended by world leaders, before a historic last ceremonial journey through the streets of London packed with sorrowful mourners.
Huge crowds gathered in near silence to watch as the queen’s flag-draped coffin, topped with the Imperial State Crown, her orb and sceptre, was carried slowly to a gun carriage from parliament’s Westminster Hall where it had lain in state since Wednesday.
To the tune of pipes and drums, the gun carriage — used at every state funeral since Queen Victoria’s in 1901 — was then drawn by 142 junior enlisted sailors in the Royal Navy to Westminster Abbey.
The thousand-year-old church’s tenor bell tolled 96 times at one-minute intervals — one for every year of her life — stopping a minute before the service began at 11:00 am (1000 GMT).
In his funeral sermon, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby praised the queen’s life of duty and service to the UK and Commonwealth.
“People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer,” he told the 2,000 guests, who included US President Joe Biden and Japan’s reclusive Emperor Naruhito.
“But in all cases, those who serve will be loved and remembered,” the Anglican leader added, before the coffin was borne on another procession towards her final resting place in Windsor Castle, west of London.
The longest-serving monarch in British history died at Balmoral, her Scottish Highland retreat, on September 8 after a year of declining health.
Her eldest son and successor, King Charles III, dressed in ceremonial military uniform, followed the solemn processions, alongside his three siblings.
‘She was my boss’
Charles’s eldest son Prince William accompanied them alongside William’s estranged brother, Prince Harry, and other senior royals.
William’s two eldest children, George and Charlotte, who are next in line to the throne, also walked behind the coffin inside the abbey.
Late Sunday, Charles, 73, and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, said they had been “deeply touched” by the public’s flood of messages.
“As we all prepare to say our last farewell, I wanted simply to take this opportunity to say thank you,” he said.
Britain, a country much changed since the queen’s coronation in the same abbey in 1953, has dug deep into its centuries of tradition to honour the only monarch that most of its people have ever known.
“It’s once in a lifetime,” said student Naomi Thompson, 22, camped out in the crowds at London’s Hyde Park.
“It’s a moment of history… She’s everyone’s granny,” added engineer Alice Garret, 28.
Others unable to be in London gathered in cinemas and churches around England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to watch the service and procession on big screens.
Auto engineer Jamie Page, a 41-year-old former soldier, stood on Whitehall to observe the funeral procession, wearing his military medals from service in the Iraq war.
“Sixteen years old, I swore an oath of allegiance to the queen. She’s been my boss. She means everything, she was like a gift from God,” he said.
Two minutes of silence
But on Charles, the oldest person yet to ascend the British throne, Page added: “Who knows, time will tell.”
The funeral lasted just under an hour, brought to an end by a bugler playing “The Last Post”, before two minutes of silence and the reworded national anthem, “God Save the King”.
After an hour-long procession that was to go past Buckingham Palace, the coffin was to be taken west by road to Windsor Castle, where thousands had lined the route since early morning.
Some 6,000 military personnel have been drafted in to take part in proceedings in what Britain’s highest-ranking military officer has called “our last duty for Her Majesty the Queen”.
The queen will be buried alongside her father king George VI, her mother queen Elizabeth and sister princess Margaret, reuniting in death the family who once called themselves “us four”.
The coffin of her husband, Prince Philip, who died last year aged 99, will also be transferred to lie alongside her.
Elizabeth’s funeral could not be more different from Philip’s at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, in April 2021.
Coronavirus restrictions limited mourners to just 30, led by the queen, a solitary figure in mourning black and a matching facemask.
The contrast was profound on Monday, the abbey packed with dignitaries and some ordinary Britons who were honoured for their military or community service, especially during the Covid pandemic.
“You were fortunate to have had her for 70 years; we all were,” Biden said on Sunday after signing a book of condolence. “The world is better for her.”
In the abbey pews was Liz Truss, whom the queen appointed as the 15th British prime minister of her reign just two days before her death, in her last major ceremonial duty.
All of Truss’s living predecessors were there plus her counterparts and representatives from the 14 Commonwealth countries outside Britain where Charles is also head of state.
Whether they remain constitutional monarchies or become republics is likely to be the defining feature of Charles’s reign.
The queen’s death has prompted deep reflection about the Britain she reigned over, the legacy of its past, its present state and what the future might hold, as well as the values of lifelong service and duty she came to represent during her 70-year reign.
Hundreds of thousands of people are estimated to have queued, sometimes for up to 25 hours and overnight, to file past the queen’s coffin as it lay in state.
Chrissy Heerey, a serving member of the Royal Air Force who joined the marathon queue twice, was the last person through the doors and described the experience as “amazing”.
“When they came to me and said, ‘right, you’re the last person’, I said, really?!” she told AFP, before heading off to join the crowds for the coffin’s procession through London.
Big Ben tolls
Throughout the procession after the funeral, Big Ben, the giant bell atop the Elizabeth Tower at one end of the Houses of Parliament, tolled and military guns fired at one-minute intervals.
At Windsor, the Sebastopol Bell — captured in Crimea in 1856 — and the Curfew Tower Bell also sounded.
A vast television audience was expected to watch the funeral worldwide and live online, in a sign of the enduring fascination with the woman once described as “the last global monarch”.
Those lining the streets of London — already jammed at sunrise on Monday — said they had to bear witness.
“I will talk about this moment to my children,” said Jack Davies, 14, camped out for the procession with his parents at Hyde Park Corner, where the coffin will be transferred from the gun carriage for the drive to Windsor.
“I’ll say: ‘I was there!’”
At Windsor, the queen’s crown, orb and sceptre will be removed and placed on the altar.
The most senior officer of the royal household, the lord chamberlain, breaks his “wand of office” and places it on the coffin, symbolising the end of her reign.
The lead-lined oak casket, draped with the queen’s colours, will be lowered into the Royal Vault as a lone bagpiper plays a lament.
A private interment ceremony will take place at the adjoining King George VI Memorial Chapel at 1830 GMT.
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2023: I’ll Put And End To National Grid Collapse If Elected President, Peter Obi Assures Nigerians
…As Ihedioha Distances Self From Calling Peter Obi’s Igbo Supporters ‘Saboteurs’
…Aisha Yesufu Blasts Ex-Imo Gov Over Comments
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has said that national grid collapse will be a thing of history under his watch if elected as President in 2023.
The former governor of Anambra State said this in reaction to news of yet another collapse of the national grid, which he described as disturbing.
Proffering solution, Obi stated that his team has a strategic plan to progressively scale up power generation and the liberalisation of the transmission infrastructure in the country, to ensure that Nigerians enjoy adequate and stable power supply from 2023 onwards.
He tweeted on Wednesday, “The report of yet another national grid collapse is very disturbing to me, and is a reminder of the long rescue and recovery journey ahead of us. Effective power generation, transmission and distribution remain a national security issue.
“This also places power on the front burner of campaign and policy. Painfully, this latest episode is the 7th national grid collapse in 2022. As part of the Obi-Datti policy plan, we have put together a strategic plan to progressively scale up power generation, and the liberalisation of the transmission infrastructure in the country, to ensure that Nigerians enjoy adequate and stable power supply from 2023 onwards. Power is critical to the development and sustainability of all sectors of the national economy
“For us, power remains a top priority. Under my watch, national grid collapse will become a matter of history and a reference point for erstwhile administrations. -PO.”
Meanwhile, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, on Wednesday, denied calling Igbo people who are supporting the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, saboteurs.
Ihedioha in a statement issued in Owerri, the Imo State capital, by his spokesperson, Chibuike Onyeukwu, said that there was no way he could have called Igbo people supporting Obi saboteurs when he shared close relationship with the LP presidential candidate.
The statement accused those it described as “fifth columnists” of being responsible for the media bashing he had received following the development.
Ihedioha said his address at the new yam festival of Mbaise people living in Ghana was misconstrued, adding that he was referring to members of his political party, the Peoples Democratic Party, who were sabotaging the party in the South-East zone.
The statement read, “A few days ago, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON, on the invitation of his kinsmen, was in Accra, Ghana, to celebrate this year’s Iri Ji festival with the Mbaise community in that country.
“As a founding member and one of the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he seized the opportunity of that visit to address PDP issues nationally but particularly in Imo State and assuage the anxiety of the members of his party who have been apprehensive of the developments within the party.
“In doing so, he decried what, at best, is the insouciant attitude and worse, the outright sabotage of some acclaimed party leaders who are engaging in acts that are inimical to the success of the PDP, especially in the South-East by working in cahoots with the other parties. He was only talking about members of his own political party.
“For clarity purposes, His Excellency neither referred to members of any other political party, especially the Labour Party, as saboteurs. He only spoke in the context of the PDP and the emphasis was on the need for members of his party to remain consistent and committed.
“It is inconceivable that he will refer to anybody who is supporting Mr. Peter Obi, Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, his long time friend, with whom he shares close political affinity and has utmost respect for, as a saboteur.
“It is unfortunate that his well-intentioned speech, which addressed the specific issue of happenings within his own political party, was, again, manipulated by fifth columnists to suit their mischievous scheme of bringing him on a collision with Mr. Peter Obi, whose unwavering political philosophy of ‘Taking Back Nigeria’ from the draconian stranglehold of the failed ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, he wholeheartedly shares.
“His Excellency respects the aspirations and passion of members of other political parties, even as he remains committed to the cause of his own political party and it is not in his character to cast aspersions on those who hold contrary political opinion.”
However, popular Nigerian activist and social critic, Aisha Yesufu, has attacked the former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, for his recent statement in which he labelled Peter Obi’s supporters as saboteurs.
Recall that Ihedioha had said that Nigeria’s presidency would rotate to the South-East after the administration of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, if he wins next year’s election.
He also called those supporting Peter Obi and Labour Party saboteurs.
Reacting to the statement by Ihedioha, the human rights activist in a video said he (Ihedioha) had continuously kept everyone down so he would be the only one riding at the top.
“You called citizens saboteurs because they dared to vote for good governance, accountability, and transparency.
“You called citizens saboteurs because they dared to go with a candidate who has competence, character, and capacity.
“You are sitting down there and telling people that it will be the turn of Igbos after Atiku Abubakar. No, it will be your turn; that is why you want people to go that way, even when they consider there is a better candidate who happens to come from their region.
“We are not saboteurs; you are the saboteur. You and your ilks are the saboteurs of Nigeria; those who have held our country back and have only done what is in their interest,” she said.
126 total views, 126 views today
Bamise: Again, Absence Of BRT Driver’s Lawyer Stalls Court Hearing
The trial of Andrew Ominikoron, a BRT driver who allegedly raped and murdered Oluwabamise Ayanwole, a 22-year-old fashion designer, again failed to go on today owing to the absence of his lawyer.
The lawyer, Abayomi Omotubora, arrived at the Lagos High Court, sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square after the trial judge, Justice Sherifat Sonaike, had adjourned the hearing to Thursday owing to his absence.
It is about the fifth time that Omotubora would be absent from the court hearing since the start of the trial.
He was absent at the court proceedings on July 30 but sent a junior counsel. He was also absent at the proceedings of June 7th and 9th.
At the last sitting of the court on July 7, where he was again absent, Justice Sonaike condemned his continuous absence. The judge described it as “appalling and unbecoming of the noble profession.”
The court also ordered the defendant to get a lawyer to defend him before adjourning till today, Sept 28.
When the journalist sought to know what happened after he arrived late to today’s proceeding, the lawyer said that he came all the way from the Ikorodu area of the state to the TBS.
On his repeated absence, the lawyer said that he also has other matters to attend to.
“This is not the only matter, I have to appear for other matters too,” he said.
246 total views, 246 views today
High Court Orders Obi’s Supporters Not To Converge At Lekki Toll Gate
The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the Labour Party and its supporters not to converge at the Lekki toll gate for its #Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally billed to hold on the 1st of October, 2022.
The court also directed the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, and the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Abiodun Alabi, to ensure compliance with the order.
Justice Daniel Osiagor made the order today while ruling on a motion for injunction brought by 10 plaintiffs, who are asking the court to, among others, restrain the LP, its presidential candidate Peter Obi, his running mate Datti Baba-Ahmed, one Julius Abure and their loyalists from holding the rally.
The court also held that while Obi’s supporters cannot stop at the Lekki toll gate, they can pass through the venue to access Falomo Bridge and other venues at which the rally plans to meet.
A preliminary objection filed by the defendants seeking to stop the court from hearing the motion on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction could however not be entertained as all parties to the suit had not been served.
The court adjourned hearing of the substantive suit to November 4, 2022.
In the suit, 10 plaintiffs are Adedotun Ajulo Esq., Salamatu Suleiman Lewi Esq., Hakeem Ijaduola, Esq., Ogunbona Akinpelu Esq., Owolabi K. Oluwasegun, Esq., Mogbojuri Kayode Esq., Wuyep Mantim Nadom Esq., Dimimu Mabel, Esq., Kolawole Salami, Esq. and Mr. Wale Abe Lawrence.
The 1st to 10th defendants are Obi, LP, Baba-Ahmed, Abure, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Commissioner of Police (Lagos State Command), Director-General (Department of State Services), Lekki Concession Company (LCC) Limited, Attorney-General of Lagos State and The Governor of Lagos State.
In the substantive suit, the plaintiffs are arguing among other things that a repeat or celebration of the “infamous” EndSARS protest of 2020 under the political guise of “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally” will cause a breakdown of peace and will result in post-traumatic stress disorder for them and the public.
251 total views, 251 views today
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