The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, has commended the laudable contributions of Nigerians in the UK, saying they have continued to enrich Britain in all spheres – arts, culture, politics, and business, among others
Arkwright made the remark at an event to celebrate the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II in Abuja, and was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) by the British High Commission.
The week of the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations globally also coincided with the 400th anniversary of the death of British Playwright, William Shakespeare.
The High Commissioner took a moment to pay special tribute to the literary icon, drawing links between the UK and Nigeria. He said:
“And this week as well, we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. There’s a Nigerian connection too with Shakespeare. Some of you may have seen the pictures, last week, President Obama met on stage at the Gold Theatre in London, a proud son of Nigeria, Ladi Emeruwa. He played Hamlet for two years with the Globe Touring Company as they went around the world performing Hamlet. This is just one really good example of how Nigeria and Nigerians continue to enrich British life, British society and British culture. In politics, there are five British MPs of Nigerian extraction in the House of Commons and three of those are women. Then there are Nigerians in business, working in the UK and Nigerians in sport.”
He reiterated UK support and cooperation with Nigeria in the areas of security, diversifying the economy, creating prosperity and helping President Muhammadu Buhari in his anti-corruption campaign.
The British High Commissioner, who toasted the Queen and President Buhari, commended the Queen’s exemplary reign in her service to the UK and the Commonwealth.
“Among her visits to 116 countries as Queen, she’s been here in Nigeria twice. She was here in 1956 where she toured different parts of Nigeria visiting Lagos, Kano, Kaduna and the Eastern region. And in 2003, she was back in Nigeria for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). No doubt, many of you remember the 2003 visit. Some of you may even remember that 1956 visit. That was 60 years ago, quite remarkable for a woman who is now the longest serving monarch in British history,” he said.