King Charles III on Friday readied to address his mourning subjects on the first full day of his new reign as Britain and the world commemorated the extraordinary life of his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
At 73, Charles is the oldest monarch yet to ascend the throne of the United Kingdom, following the death of his “cherished” mother at her Scottish estate of Balmoral on Thursday.
He was due to return to London from Balmoral, where the 96-year-old queen died “peacefully” after a year-long period of ill-health and decline, at the culmination of a record-breaking reign of 70 years.
“During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which the queen was so widely held,” Charles said in a statement.
One of the planet’s most recognisable people, she was the only British monarch most people alive today had ever known.
The tributes were universal, including from Russia and China.
New York’s Empire State Building was illuminated after sunset in silver and royal purple, while the Eiffel Tower in Paris dimmed its lights in tribute.
President Joe Biden described Queen Elizabeth as “a stateswoman of unmatched dignity”, and relayed the comforting words she gave when the United States was plunged into mourning on 9/11.
They were the same words chosen by the Daily Telegraph for its sombre front-page: “Grief is the price we pay for love.”
Other British newspapers also printed special editions to mark the occasion. “Our hearts are broken,” headlined popular tabloid the Daily Mail.
The Mirror wrote simply: “Thank you.”
Charles’s inaugural address, set to be pre-recorded, was expected to be broadcast on Friday evening, part of 10 days of plans honed over decades by Buckingham Palace and the UK government.
The new king was also expected to hold his first audience with Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was only appointed on Tuesday in one of the queen’s last official acts before her death.
Truss acclaimed the “second Elizabethan age”, five centuries after the celebrated first.
“We offer him (Charles) our loyalty and devotion just as his mother devoted so much to so many for so long,” she said in a televised address Thursday. “God save the king.”
Charles was also due to meet officials in charge of the elaborate arrangements for his mother’s lavish state funeral, which will be attended by crowned and elected heads of state from around the world.
He will decide on the length of the royal household’s period of mourning, which is expected to last a month, while the UK government will observe at least 10 days of official remembrance, when limited business is conducted.
Gun salutes — one round for every year of the queen’s life — will be fired Friday across Hyde Park in central London and from the Tower of London on the River Thames.
Muffled church bells will toll at Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral and Windsor Castle, among other places, and Union flags will fly at half-mast.
Truss and other senior ministers were set to attend a public remembrance service at St Paul’s, while the UK parliament will start two days of special tributes.
The queen’s death and its ceremonial aftermath comes as the government strives to rush through emergency legislation to tackle the kind of war-fuelled economic privation that marked the start of Elizabeth’s reign in 1952.
– Tributes –
Elizabeth’s public appearances had become rarer in the months since she spent an unscheduled night in hospital in October 2021 for undisclosed health tests.
She was seen smiling in her last official photographs from Tuesday when she appointed Truss as the 15th prime minister of her reign, which started with Winston Churchill in Downing Street.
But the queen looked frail and leant on a walking stick. Her hand was also bruised dark blue-purple, sparking concern.
Her closest family members had rushed to be at her bedside at Balmoral, a private residence set among thousands of acres (hectares) of rolling grouse moors and forests in the Scottish Highlands.
Her body will initially remain there, before being taken to the Scottish capital Edinburgh.
From there, her coffin is expected to travel by train to London for a lying in state accessible to the public, before the funeral.
Braving steady rain, crowds gathered late into Thursday night outside Buckingham Palace in London, and Windsor Castle west of the capital, with the number of well-wishers set to swell in the days ahead.
Londoner Joshua Ellis, 24, choked back tears as he mourned the “nation’s grandmother” at the palace.
“I know she is 96 but there is still a sense of shock. She is in all our minds and hearts,” he said.
“You could always look to the queen, to a sense of stability. Every time people needed support, she was there.”
– ‘Cherished sovereign’ –
Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne aged just 25 in the exhausted aftermath of World War II, joining a world stage dominated by political figures from Churchill to Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin.
In the ensuing decades, the last vestiges of Britain’s vast empire crumbled. At home, Brexit shook the foundations of her kingdom, and her family endured a series of scandals.
But throughout, she remained consistently popular and was head of state not just of the United Kingdom but 14 former British colonies, including Australia and Canada.
New Zealand proclaimed Charles its new king. But Australia’s new government looks set to revive a push to ditch the monarchy, casting doubt on his inheritance even as it mourns the queen.
Britain’s mourning will culminate in a final public farewell at Westminster Abbey in London. The funeral day will be a public holiday in the form of a Day of National Mourning.
Charles’s coronation, an elaborate ritual steeped in tradition and history, will take place in the same historic surroundings, as it has for centuries, on a date to be fixed.
On Saturday, his reign will be formally proclaimed by the Accession Council, which comprises senior politicians, bishops, City of London dignitaries and Commonwealth ambassadors.
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THE BIOGRAPHY OF FELA – KUTI
Fela was born Olufela Oludotun Ransome Kuti in Abeokuta, Ogun state on 15 October 1938, to a middle class family.
His mother, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti was a famous front line activist in the anti- colonial movement and his father, reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome- Kuti, a protestant minister and a school principal, was the first president of the Nigerian union of teachers.
His musical talents and radical nature manifested early, so it was no surprise that he went to London in 1958 to study music at the trinity college of music. While there he formed the band Koola Lobito’s, playing a style of music that was a fusion of Jazz with West African highlife.
In 1963, Fela moved back to Nigeria, reformed Koola Lobito’s and trained as a radio producer for the Nigerian broadcasting corporation.
In 1969, Fela took the band to the united states, while there Fela discovered the black power movement through Sandra smith (now isodore) a partisan of the black panther party which would heavily influence his music and political views, indeed Fela experience a political awakening that later reflected in a total transformation of his world view his music and the place of Africa and the black man in history.
His early years and his mother political activism had exposed him to some degree to the fight for political independence from colonialism, and especially memorable for the young Fela was being introduced by his mother to the late Kwame Nkrumah.
Nkrumah was the guiding light of Ghana’s independence and the leading advocate for pan- Africanism and the Organization of African Unity (O.A.U).
If this early exposure could be said to introduce Fela to the politics, his nine (9) month sojourn in Los Angeles completed his political education and gave birth to the musical phenomenon and political maverick of African music forever. In his own words “for the first time I heard things I had never heard before about Africa”. Fela told friends he learnt more about African in Los Angeles than he had learnt in Lagos and insisted that the whole atmosphere of black revolution changed me, my consciousness, my thinking, and my perception of things). I was educated”
The first acclaimed on afro-beat song “which gave birth to the genre was my lady frustration part of a recording available today on the compilation named “the 69 los angeles sessions.
Fela and his band renamed Nigeria 70, returned to Nigeria. He the armed the Kalakuta republic a commune , a recording studio, and home for many connected to the band that he later declared independent from the Nigerian state.
Fela music became very popular among the Nigerian public and Africans general. Infact, he made the decision to sing in pidgin English so that his music could be enjoyed by individuals all over African where local languages spoken are very diverse and numerous. As popular as fela’s music had become in Nigeria and elsewhere. It was very unpopular with the ruling government and raids on Kalakuta Republic where frequent.
In 1977, Fela and the Africa ‘70’ released the hit album zombie, scathing attack on Nigerian soldiers using the zombie metaphor describe the method of the Nigerian military. The album was a smash with the people and infuriated the government, setting off a vicious attack against the Kalakuta republic, during which one thousand soldiers attacked the commune. Fela was severely beaten, and his elderly mother was thrown from a window, casting fatal injuries. The Kalakuta republic was burned, and Fela’s studio, instruments and master tapes were destroyed, he claimed that he would have been killed if it were not for the intervention of a commanding officer as he was being beaten. Fela’s response to the attack was to deliver his mother’s coffin to the main army barrack in Lagos and write two songs, “coffin for head of state” and “unknown soldier” referencing official injury that claimed the commune had been destroyed by Unknown Soldier. Fela and his band then took residence in crossroads hotel as the shrine had been destroyed along with his commune.
In 1978, Fela married 27 women, many of whom were his dancers, composers and singers to mark the anniversary of the attack on the Kalakuta republic. The year also marked by two notorious concerts, the first in Accra in which riot broke out during the song “zombie” which led to Fela being banned from entering Ghana. The second was at Berlin Jazz festival, after which he had a lot of his band members desert him due to various issues.
Despite the massive setbacks, Fela was determined to come back. He formed his own political party, which he called movement of the people. In 1979, he put himself forward for president in Nigeria’s first elections for more than a decade but his candidature was refused. At this time, Fela created a new band called Egypt ‘80’ and continued to record albums and tour the country.
He further infuriated the political establishment by dropping the names of ITT Vice president Moshood Abiola and then general Olusegun Obasanjo at the end of a hot selling 25 minute political polemic titled I.😭 (international thief-thief) in 1984, he was again attacked by the military government, who jailed him on a dubious charge of currency smuggling. His case was taken up by several human right group and after 20 months, he was released from prison. He continued to release albums with Egypt “80” made a number of successful tour of United State of America and Europe and his album output slowed down in the 1990’s.
He died on 2nd August 1997, more than a million people ironically including from the armed forces and police attended his funeral in Lagos. His musical career was matchless and prolific with over 70 albums and over 200 songs.
Democracy has failed, says OLUWO as he pushes for Monarchical system of Government
The Oluwo of Iwo land, Oba Abdularosheed Adewale Akanbi (Telu 1), says effective leadership can only be guaranteed in Nigeria if the country returns to a monarchical system of government.
He said this on Wednesday while responding to questions from journalists after receiving the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Mashood Lekan Balogun at his palace.
He described the monarchical system of government as the best form of governance whereby citizens can hold their monarchs accountable.
According to him, the present system of government practiced in the country is not democracy.
He said democracy is not working for Nigeria, hence, the need to return to the traditional system of government.
He said, “Politicians have made nonsense of democracy, what we have now is a demonstration of crazy. I am not surprised that it is not working for us, it is not our way. The African way of government is the traditional way of government and when the kings can thread the path of righteousness and can do what we are doing from here in Iwo, believe me, we will take back our power. Our people will fight for us but nobody will fight for a king that is threatening his own people.”
The Olubadan of Ibadanland, HIM Oba Lekan Balogun, appreciated the monarch and his subjects for the warm reception.
Gunmen kidnap expatriate, kill driver, soldier in Ondo
Some gunmen have reportedly kidnapped an expatriate at Ogbonmo area of Ijebu-Owo in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State
The gunmen also killed a soldier, who was said to be a security escort of the victim, who is an engineer.
The driver of the victim was also killed by the gunmen.
The identity of the victims had not been revealed at the time of filing this report.
According to a source, the incident occurred at about 5.30 pm on Wednesday.
The source said, “The man we call white engineer has been kidnapped. His driver and his security soldier were killed. The gunmen fired many shots into the air to disperse the people around.”
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