BY Bukola Ogunsina, Tunde Oguntola and Henry Tyohemba, with agency report |
The late Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip was notorious for saying his mind. Some of his wisecracks have offended some but many have come to see it as a part of who he was.
During his visit to Nigeria in 2003, he was reported to have said to ‘a robed President Olusegun Obasanjo, “You look like you’re ready for bed.’’
On another occasion in 1994, during a visit to a group of businessmen in the Cayman Islands, he was reported as politely asking, “Aren’t most of you descended from pirates?”
Before that according to the BBC, in 2002 the Duke was said to have ‘startled’ Australian Aborigines by asking, ‘Do you still throw spears at each other?’ the question was posed to Aboriginal cultural park owner William Brim during a royal visit to Cairns in Queensland.
According to another media report, a 13-year-old Andrew Adams, who told the royal he wanted to go into space, was told by the late Prince, “You’re too fat to be an astronaut.”
In another report, the late Duke, who is said not to be a fan of the Concorde plane, a plane that flew over Buckingham Palace in 2002 before being decommissioned, quipped, “I must be the only person in Britain glad to see the back of that plane.”
And he was noted to have politely asked the famous British singer, Tom Jones after a chat following the Royal Variety Performance in 1969, “What do you gargle with, pebbles?”
Prince Philip Helped To Midwife Nigeria’s Independence – Akwaya
The publisher of Daily Asset Newspaper, Dr Cletus Akwaya, has described the demise of the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, as a huge loss to Nigeria, saying he helped to midwife the nation’s independence.
Philip, a companion of Queen Elizabeth II and the longest-serving consort in British history, died at Windsor Castle on Friday morning at the age of 99.
Reacting to Philip’s death in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP Sunday Akwaya recalled his critical role in ensuring that Nigeria gained independence in 1960.
He said Philip visited Nigeria with Queen Elizabeth in 1957 and worked assiduously towards presenting the handover of the national flag to Nigeria.
Akwaya, who is also a foreign affairs analyst, said Philip occupied a big chapter in the history of Nigeria’s independence.
According to him, “Prince Philip visited Nigeria with Queen Elizabeth in 1957 at the time Nigeria was about to get independence and at the independence in 1960, Prince Philip really worked towards presenting the crown to hand over the national flag to Nigeria.
“So, his death is a big loss. He midwifed the independence of Nigeria and saw it all to the handing over of power or sovereignty to Nigeria.
“So he is linked to the story of Nigeria’s independence. He definitely occupied a big chapter in the history of Nigeria’s independence and that is why I believe Nigeria will miss him,” he added.
He further said Philip’s demise may have created a big vacuum and may stir a resurgence of the craving for sovereignty by Scotland.
For his part, a former minister of aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, recalls the visit of the late Prince to Nigeria.
“I remember the warmth of Her Majesty and the pomp and pageantry of the occasion. Both she and Prince Philip were absolutely awesome and we were so happy to have them in Nigeria.
“They brought a sense of love and belonging which only the British Royals and the Commonwealth can offer. It was a wonderful occasion and they were truly wonderful people. I am glad that under the leadership of Her Majesty the Commonwealth has gone from strength to strength.
“Prince Philip played a big role in ensuring that by constantly supporting and encouraging her. We shall all miss the Prince. He was an outstanding figure and an extraordinary man,” he said.
Nigeria would not forget the Prince in a hurry. In December 2003 Prince Philip and the Queen were on a four-day state visit to Nigeria, from December 3 to 6 ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (CHOGM) in Abuja, to take place on Friday, December 5, 2003 during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
This was the first time since January 28 to February 16, 1956 that the Queen and the late Prince Philip had visited Nigeria.
During that period, the Duke of Edinburgh was given a grand tour of the Commonwealth People’s Forum on the opening day of the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting.
Funeral slated for April 17
Prince Philip’s funeral will take place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on April 17, Buckingham Palace announced yesterday.
The ceremony at Windsor, west of London, will be televised but will have no public element because of coronavirus restrictions. It will be preceded by a minute’s silence nationwide.
Royal officials said the 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh’s grandson, Prince Harry, would attend, but his heavily pregnant wife, Meghan, had been advised against travelling from the United States on medical grounds