Britain says it has no interest in Biafra course, denies backing agitators to break up Nigeria


The British Envoy in Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright

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The British government has denied claims by some secession agitators in parts of Nigeria that the British government is backing their agitation to break Nigeria.

It would be 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.

The British Envoy in Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright, made the clarification on Friday while speaking with journalists when he met with the Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ali Ahmad, on a courtesy visit.

The British Envoy said, “In a word no. We have nothing to do with any agitations and acts to break up Nigeria. We strongly support the unity of Nigeria.”

“We strongly support the Federal Government and that is the position that the British Government had held consistently.

“We have absolutely no interest about agitation for the breakup of Nigeria and anybody who claims the British and the British Government are involved in any way is completely wrong‎.”

The British Ambassador, who described Nigeria democratic situation as delicate, particularly commended both the Kwara State government and the Kwara 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, adding 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 however noted that percentage of women in politics was low in Nigeria, and charged the government to encourage more women in politics.

His words, “Percentage of women in politics is low. So anything you could do to encourage women in politics and civil society, I will welcome that.

“I was very keen to see the House of Assembly and the members here. I feel strongly that sometimes in this country, democracy is for the delegates. It is great to see a House of Assembky that is operating in the true spirit of democracy representing the people here.”

He also said that his government would continue to collaborate with the 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 deferred with the executives despite the fact that we’re in same party”, he said.

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