Queen Elizabeth II: The Ibadan Connections

We have witnessed the transition Of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
From this terrestrial globe
To the great beyond
To eternity
She embarked on the final journey at Balmoral
As it is appointed to all.

 

Queen Elizabeth II
We celebrate you in death
As we cherished you when you were here
For many of us
You were the Queen we have known all our life
You were Queen of England Queen of the United Kingdom
But could pass as Queen of the Universe

 

You made royalty beautiful and perhaps desirable
You were lovely and adorable
You knew what it meant to reign and see others to rule
You carried yourself with grace and dignity
Despite your lofty height
You never lost your humanity.

 

Many are inspired by Your story
And it will remain so any day any time!
You were not born to be Queen nor Head of State
But you became one by Divine Providence and a twist of fate
It also pleased God to make you leave your footprints
On the sands of time
As the longest British monarch in history.

 

In 1956 Queen Elizabeth II visited Nigeria
And had to visit Ibadan
The capital of Western Region
Africa’s third most populous city
And then Nigeria’s only university city
Today two monuments adorn the city
To commemorate the visit of Her Majesty

First is Queen Elizabeth Road
That stretches from Mokola Roundabout to Total Garden (Agodi Gate)
Which she commissioned
I am told it’s the first dual carriage road in Nigeria
Along the road now is the main entrance to the University College Hospital
Nigeria’s flagship medical institution
Established in 1957 a year after the royal visit
A plaque is placed on a wall at UCH Gate
To mark this significant event.

Website Designing/Management/Social Media – Iyanu Victor

 

There is also Queen Elizabeth II Hall
A Hall of Residence for female students
In honour of Queen Elizabeth II
And her historic visit to Ibadan
At the then University College Ibadan.
Queen Elizabeth II Hall
Has produced many female graduates
Who have become queens in many areas of human endeavours.

 

In 1956 I am told

Queen Elizabeth II rode on a train
From Lagos to Ibadan
Perhaps the coach can still be seen
That carried the Queen
From Lagos to Ibadan
At the Railway Museum in Lagos
Draped in purple or painted in gold.
Each time we see Dugbe Railway Station in Ibadan
We would remember
That this Station once played host to Queen Elizabeth II.

Certified French Tutor in Nigeria with Years of Experience – Ms Blessing Akpan

 

When Queen Elizabeth II visited Ibadan
It was not all merriment
As Government made an arrangement
For Her Majesty to engage some educated people
Private legal practitioners were invited
To meet Her Majesty
An engineer felt he deserved to meet the Queen
And he registered his desire to be heard and seen
Alas! he was not so honoured
As the open invitation was meant for lawyers alone
This exclusion was the tonic the engineer required
To pursue a career in law
In his own confession
He was successful in his new profession.

 

Oba Isaac Babalola Akinyele
The Olubadan of Ibadan
Was Ibadan’s reigning monarch
When Queen Elizabeth II visited Ibadan
He had barely spent a year on the Ibadan throne
When he had to welcome Her Majesty
To the city of Ibadan
The Queen and the Olubadan could freely communicate
Without an interpreter’s aid.

A few years after
The Olubadan of Ibadan was honoured
As the British monarch
made him a Knight of British Empire
And this was celebrated in Ibadan with pomp and pageantry.

 

Sir Oba Isaac Babalola Akinyele also visited the United Kingdom
At the British Museum the Olubadan was given an ancient sword
As a token of love
The ancient sword was a cultural property
Which had earlier been taken from Yorubaland by British subjects
The Olubadan did not retain the sword
In Ibadan or any place in his domain
But in the characteristic Ibadan generous spirit
The gracious monarch left the sword
With the Museum of Antiquities in Lagos
To be admired by all Nigerians
Seeing it as a national treasure.
It is hoped Ibadan will join in the celebration
Of the Life and Times of Queen Elizabeth II
A unique and an iconic personality
Who once breathed Ibadan air
Though I was told the water she drank
When she visited Nigeria in 1956
Was brought from England.

 

The University of Ibadan
The past and present residents
Of Queen Elizabeth II Hall
Should also celebrate
The Citizen of the World
Whose monument has now acquired a new status
That of a national treasure
In honour of Nigeria’s first post-independence Head of State
The one and only Queen of Nigeria.

 

The only person in history
Who was Head of State
Of Colonial Nigeria and Independent Nigeria
Was Queen Elizabeth II.
For three years after Nigeria’s independence
Her Majesty was Queen of Nigeria
Represented by a Governor-General
Who acted in her name.

 

The final month of Queen Elizabeth II as Colonial Nigeria’s Head of State was in September 1960
The final month of Queen Elizabeth II as the Head of State and Queen of Nigeria was in September 1963
The final month of Queen ElizabethII
On this part of the divide was in September 2022.

 

Queen ElizabethII took her final breath at Balmoral
The place where she breathed life into Nigeria’s independence
Surely Nigeria will ever remember
The hand that endorsed her independence.

 

In the Life and Times of Queen Elizabeth II
This is a September to remember.

 

Oluwole Akintayo, a member of Ibadan Bar teaches law at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.
9 September, 2022

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