Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

By Ojukwu Emmanuel Chiadikaobi

 

Amidst the global spotlight on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, their recent visit to Nigeria has ignited controversy and drawn sharp criticism from British journalists and royal supporters.

Kevin O’Sullivan, a prominent presenter on TalkTV, was among the vocal critics, questioning the rationale behind the royal couple’s decision to visit Nigeria. O’Sullivan emphasized that the royal family meticulously selects their tour destinations, suggesting that Nigeria, with its issues like prevalent female genital mutilation, lack of women’s rights, and ongoing kidnappings by extremist groups, doesn’t warrant royal endorsement.

“The royal family doesn’t just go anywhere…This is not a country that should be endorsed by anyone, certainly not our royal family, and these two are naive in what they’re doing,” O’Sullivan remarked, highlighting concerns about the portrayal of Nigeria in a positive light amidst its myriad challenges.

Furthermore, O’Sullivan pointed out that while the current monarch, King Charles III, has visited Nigeria multiple times, the country’s socio-political landscape, according to him, remains fraught with dangers and shortcomings.

Joining the critique, Michael Cole, a seasoned royal correspondent and expert, echoed O’Sullivan’s sentiments, branding Nigeria as a perilous destination. Cole highlighted the advisories issued by both the UK Foreign Office and the American State Department warning against travel to Nigeria due to safety concerns, including its ranking as a potential murder capital on the continent.

“In that country, there’s industrial-scale volumes of people who are ripping off people around the world…none of that is ever prosecuted,” Cole lamented, emphasizing the prevalence of internet fraud and the lack of accountability.

Expressing bewilderment over Prince Harry’s decision to visit Nigeria, Cole emphasized the apparent disconnect between the country’s realities and the royal couple’s actions, questioning the wisdom behind their itinerary.

The criticism leveled by these UK journalists underscores broader debates surrounding the role of the royal family in diplomatic engagements and the ethical considerations involved in endorsing countries with complex socio-political landscapes. As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle continue to navigate their roles on the global stage, their choices are likely to remain subject to scrutiny and debate.

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