Queen Elizabeth reacts to Prince Harry, Meghan charge of racism - OPID News

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Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Queen Elizabeth reacts to Prince Harry, Meghan charge of racism

Queen Elizabeth reacts to Prince Harry, Meghan charge of racism

Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry together in 2018

Agency Report

Queen Elizabeth said on Tuesday the British royals were saddened by the challenging experiences of her grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan and promised to privately address revelations about a racist remark about their son.

Meghan and Harry’s tell-all TV interview with Oprah Winfrey aired on U.S. television on Sunday has plunged the monarchy into its biggest crisis since the 1997 death of Harry’s mother Diana.

In the two-hour show, Meghan accused Britain’s royal family of raising concerns about how dark their son Archie’s skin might be and ignoring her pleas for help while she felt suicidal.

Harry also said his father, heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, had let him down and that he had felt trapped in his royal life.

“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement issued on behalf of Elizabeth.

“The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. Whilst some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”

The Palace considered that this was a family matter, a royal source said, adding the royals should be given the opportunity to discuss the issues raised privately as a family.

The interview was watched by 12.4 million viewers in Britain and 17.1 million in the United States, triggering a crisis to which the monarchy had to respond, media said.

It has proved divisive among the British public, with some believing it showed how outdated and intolerant the institution was, while others decried it as a self-serving assault that neither Elizabeth nor her family deserved.

“It could hardly be more damaging to the royal family, not least because there is little it can do to defend itself,” The Times said in a lead article under the title “Royal Attack”.

“The key to the monarchy’s survival over the centuries has been its ability to adapt to the needs of the times. It needs to adapt again,” The Times said.

In the interview, nearly three years since her wedding in Windsor Castle, Meghan gained sympathy in the United States by casting some unidentified members of the royal family as uncaring, mendacious or guilty of racist remarks.

Meghan and Harry have also had a torrid relationship with the British press, successfully taking papers to court on occasions, and have repeatedly questioned what they say is reporting tainted by racist overtones.

Harry said in the interview he did not know where to turn when faced with such troubling media coverage and felt hurt when his family failed to call out racist reporting.

He said the royal family had an unhealthy silent agreement with the British tabloids and that the family was paranoid about the media turning on them.

“There is a level of control by fear that has existed for generations,” Harry said.

For the monarchy, which traces its history through 1,000 years of British and English history to William the Conqueror, Meghan’s bombshell has been compared to the crises over the death of Diana and the 1936 abdication of Edward VIII.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson watched the interview, his spokesman said, but would not be making further comment on it. read more

Johnson said on Monday he had the highest admiration for the queen but that he did not want to speak about the interview. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her nation was unlikely to stop having the queen as head of state soon. read more

Opponents of the monarchy said the allegations made by Meghan and Harry showed how rotten the institution was and that the Palace’s public relations machine had created a distorted image of the royals.

“Now people are getting a much clearer picture of what the monarchy is really like. And it doesn’t look good,” said Graham Smith, head of Republic, a campaign group which seeks to abolish the monarchy.

Royal supporters cast Meghan, 39, an American former actor, as a publicity seeker with an eye on Hollywood stardom.

A YouGov poll found a majority of young people thought the royals’ treatment of the couple was unfair, while half of older people said the opposite. read more

The gravity of the claims has raised questions about how the British monarchy, which survived centuries of revolution that toppled their cousins across Europe, could function in a meritocratic world.

Ibori wealthy before becoming Delta Governor – ODU

*Asks UK To Return Legally Forfeited Funds, Properties 

The Oghara Development Union, (ODU), Lagos Branch, on Tuesday, called on the Federal Government to insist that every single penny that has been forfeited by Chief James Ibori’s associates in the London trial, should be returned to Nigeria. 

Ibori is from Oghara town in the Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State. 

The union in a statement by its General Secretary, Chief Sunday Agbofodoh, urged the federal government to insist that three buildings seized by the United Kingdom government through Court order be repatriated to Nigeria. 

Backing its claim with documents, the Union said the UK government lied as it did not return the full money forfeited by three women who were associated in the London case which amounted to £6.2 million pounds and not £4.2 million pounds as claimed by the UK government. 

The statement reads: “The Oghara Development Union stands squarely with Chief Ibori in maintaining his innocence, and so without conceding that Ibori was guilty as charged, and specifying that the forfeited houses were not bought with illicit funds, we nevertheless call on Nigeria to insist that the full worth of the three buildings seized through a court order, be repatriated to Nigeria.” 

Reacting to a story that broke online Tuesday March 9, that Britain and Nigeria had signed an “MOU on the £4.2 million” forfeited by the three women associates of the Ibori London case, the union said as the United Kingdom claimed to be acting without ulterior motives on Nigeria’s behalf, that all the monies forfeited should be returned to Nigeria. 

The union said it has followed the case diligently and knows that the sum the women forfeited was £6.2 million and not £4.2 million. 

It said Nigeria should oppose UK’s hypocrisy and insist that the entire sum be returned to Nigeria, or UK would have been engaged in witch-hunting Ibori for profit, by withholding Two Million Pounds Sterling. 

“Nigeria should also demand for the interest on the £6.2 million since 2012 because the money would not have sat idly in the bank without attracting interest”. 

The ODU said that all assets linked to Ibori were purchased using funds lawfully and properly obtained and some were bought before Ibori became Governor. 

Ibori’s businesses and the monies that accrued to them were not hidden from the London and Nigerian “persecutors”. 

The London Police filed in court a paper which showed that one of Ibori’s companies, Mer Engineering, was earning over $7 million annually. 

The London house linked to the First Lady of Delta state when Ibori was Governor, the Hampstead property is owned by a family trust. The property was purchased by the company, MER engineering, which shareholding was held by his family trust. 

MER had obtained facility loan from NNB, a Nigerian bank. The value of this property at the time of its purchase was £2.1 million, which was covered by the NNB facility of well over £3 million meant for working capital and financing of assets. 

The second property belonged to Miss Udoamaka Okoronkwo, and was purchased for £249, 000 through mortgage. Miss Udoamaka is a successful business woman as can be seen from the facility letter dated 19 December 2005 from a bank in favour of her company, Sagicon Nig, Ltd for N121 million (£1.5 million). 

The third property, very modest, belonged to Ibori’s sister, a U.K resident, which she purchased for £140, 000. Her husband is a former Federal Permanent Secretary. 

The Union which said it has been following the case diligently said it is unjust for the UK government to give a false impression that Ibori had no money by the time he became governor of Delta state in 1999. 

It said MER Engineering (Nig Ltd), one of Ibori’s companies was established in 1992, seven years before he became governor of Delta state. 

The ODU said: “As a court ordered that the buildings be forfeited, however unjust that order is, all the monies realised MUST return to Nigeria. 

It is on record that Ibori was a successful businessman before he became a Governor in May 1999, involved in oil logistics (Upstream) and trading (Downstream). 

One of his companies, MER Engineering (Nig Ltd), was established in 1992, seven years before he became Governor. He was publisher of a national newspaper called “Diet”, now called “Daily Independent”. 

Also Ibori had a consultancy job with the Federal Government, with a tripartite agreement between him, the FG and the law firm Washington Christian of USA from which he earned between US$ 3 million to US$ 5 million annually, after successfully reaching the specified goals. 

“His bank statements with the Bank of Austria, the Citibank, Barclays Bank and the Meryl Lynch for those years will also show that he had substantial wealth of his own before he held public office for the first time in May 1999. 

For instance, on March 11, 1998, his Bank of Austria account contained $557,100.00”. “His Citibank account contained even more; over $1.5 million dollars in 1998. In fact, the Nigerian and UK persecutors (instead of prosecutors) knew that Ibori was already a Citibank Gold and Private Bank Member and a Gold Card member of the British Airways before he became Governor. 

But they chose the rags to riches publicity stunt to justify their persecution of Ibori for political reasons. 

It is well-known that before Ibori became Governor, he self-funded his entire political campaigns – with all the party candidates in 1999”. 

“This should put to rest the lies that Ibori was not wealthy before he became Governor of Delta state” the Union said. Vanguard News Nigeria

NDDC: Akpabio defends Buhari, says S’South govs can't give him directives

Godswill Akpabio …Charges Govs to rather purge selves of compromising democracy in LGs …Says completion of NDDC hqtrs proof Nigeria can do it right …The project not yet completed ahead of Thursday Commissioning …Forensic audit to be out in a few months By Egufe Yafugborhi, PORT HARCOURT MINISTER of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen Godswill Akpabio has charged Governors of the South-South to desist from issuing directives to President Mohammadu Buhari on how to run the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as they have no powers to indulge in such an act. Akpabio in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Tuesday, to prepare the ground for Thursday virtual inauguration of the NDDC permanent headquarters project, said South-South Governors should rather focus on purging selves of governance misconducts in their respective states, particularly on unlawful preference for caretakers administrations in Local Governments (LGs)or imposition of loyalists when they allow council elections. The minister was reacting to Monday night’s resolutions in Port Harcourt by the South-South Governors Forum demanding that the President prevails on NDDC to pay only staff salaries and preserves incoming funds in an escrow account pending appointment of a substantive board. Also read: NIM registration: Officials demand N5000 for express service — Abia residents Akpabio said, “I am not aware that governors now have powers to give directives to the President, but I think they have more critical issues to fix in the region. Federal Government told governors to allow democracy in LGs and stop the narrative of operating caretakers in the councils. “In many of the states, councils are left without democratically elected LGs for several months. But even when they now say we want to conduct elections, somebody will sit in a room and write names of his choice as Chairman and councillors, but they have not been denied funds by FG. “I am ready to have a board for NDDC by tomorrow, but let’s finish with the forensic audit first, then we can have aboard, but it would not be business as usual. We brought a forensic audit and even the governors supported it because we said NDDC has not worked. “So we want to know why it hasn’t work to be able to do things differently. The forensic audit will be out in a few months. From what we know already, we will need some policy and legal amendments to have the change we want. “So the governors should not be issuing directives to the President. They should carry out proper council elections. Today, NDDC does not have a balance sheet you can take to the World Bank to access funds. When the right thing is done, more money will come. A board will definitely be appointed.” On the permanent headquarters project, he said the President deserves commendation for approving the desire by his ministry and the commission’s management to ensure its completion where successive administrations have failed to realise the same since the days of OMPADEC. Apart from the over N300Million yearly rent the commissioned was paying for the rented headquarters office in Port Harcourt, “What many didn’t know was that for over 15 years, that office was not connected to the national grid. So the purchase of diesel also became a racket, so you understand why completing the permanent headquarters was not the focus for so long”, Akpabio said. He said with forensic audit and the needed changes effected, NDDC must begin to see the money coming in to deliver major regional plans to execute major projects, including linking the entire mandate states by all transport means possible. However, ahead of Thursday’s inauguration, Vanguard observed that the headquarters project remains a beehive of workmen still grappling with the completion of critical unfinished touches including cooling systems and some sections of the elevators. Vanguard News Nigeria 

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