UK denies supporting Biafra, says it wants a united Nigeria


The United Kingdom has denied insinuation that it is in support of any agitation for the break-up of Nigeria.

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Thomas Arkwright, said on Friday that the British government was not supporting those calling for the secession in Nigeria.

The UK said it would always support Nigeria’s unity and ensure the progress of the country as usual.

Arkwright spoke in Ilorin, Kwara State , when a paid a courtesy visit to the state House of Assembly where he met with the Speaker, Dr Ali Ahmed and other principal officers of the house.

“In a word, no, we don’t have anything to do with anyone agitating for break-up of Nigeria.

“We’re strongly in support of the unity of Nigeria and the federal government of Nigeria. And that’s what the British government has consistently supported and we don’t have interest or support any one agitating for the break- up of Nigeria.

“For anyone to say the British governmental is involved in any way in the break-up of Nigeria is completely wrong,” he said.

He described Nigeria’s democratic situation as delicate, but commended efforts at upholding democratic tenets and keeping the flame of democracy alive.

France, an ally of defunct Biafra in 1967, had similarly denounced any further step to actualise the secession of South East from Nigeria.

The country said that such a move had been overtaken by events and no longer in support of break-up of any part of Nigeria.

France’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Denys Gauer, said his country would not in any way work with any group agitating for the dismemberment of Nigeria.

He said France was working with Nigeria and supporting it as a country.

He spoke against the backdrop of France’s previous support for Biafra during Nigeria’s civil war.

Gauer pointed out that Nigeria has evolved since the civil war.

France has been cooperating with the country to overcome its challenges, especially the fight against insurgency.

NAN

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