President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over the death of Queen Elizabeth II of England.
The president represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, accompanied by his wife, Mrs Olufumilayo Mustapha, on Saturday in Abuja also signed the condolence register on behalf of Nigeria.
The event took place at the residence of the British High Commissioner to Nigeria in Abuja.
According to him, the late Queen also visited the country twice first in 1953 when she spent about 20 days visiting different towns and the second one was in 2003 during President Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure.
Mustapha said, “We have maintained very close ties with the monarchy. And she was a very gracious and elegant queen. For the purposes of remembrance the fact is that 90 percent of Nigerians do not know any monarch in the UK than the queen, which had unfortunately passed on.
“We welcome the new king and we look forward to a strong working relationship with the UK. They (Britain) have been a very strong ally even in the midst of our difficult time during the Biafran war, they stood for the indivisibility of the Nigerian state, supported and ensure that we overcame that problem.
“We are partnering to deal with the insurgency as there has been series of interface so that it doesn’t overwhelm us. They have always stood as a very strong ally,” he said.
Responding, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, said that the late Queen has always speak well of Nigeria.
According to her, the late Queen followed Nigeria with great interest.
“And I think that foundation of passionate interest expressed by the Queen to Nigeria, Africa and Commonwealth would continue to grow and strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
“We now have King Charles and President Buhari visited the then Prince of Wales, now King Charles III, they have a lot in common and I hope the relationship between the two leaders would strengthen the relationship between the two countries,” Laing said.
Daily Trust reports that Queen Elizabeth II, United Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch, aged 96, died on Thursday at Balmoral Castle, Aberdeen, Scotland, after reigning for 70 years.
The Queen who came to the throne in 1952 has since been succeeded by his eldest son, Prince Charles III.