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Queen Elizabeth II’s final journey begins as coffin leaves Balmoral for Edinburgh+photos

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•The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland, leaves Balmoral as it begins its journey to Edinburgh, Sunday Sept. 11, 2022.

Queen Elizabeth II’s flag-draped coffin left her beloved Scottish estate Balmoral Castle on Sunday as the monarch who died after 70 years on the throne begins her last journey back to London for a state funeral.

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The hearse drove past piles of flowers and other tributes as it led a seven-car cortege from Balmoral, the summer retreat where the queen died Thursday, for a six-hour journey through Scottish towns to Holyroodhouse palace in Edinburgh.

The late queen’s coffin was draped in the Royal Standard for Scotland and topped with a wreath made up of flowers from the estate, including sweet peas, one of the queen’s favorites.

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“A sad and poignant moment as Her Majesty, The Queen leaves her beloved Balmoral for the final time,” the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon tweeted.

“Today, as she makes her journey to Edinburgh, Scotland will pay tribute to an extraordinary woman.”

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Crowds lined parts of the route as the nation mourns its longest-reigning monarch, the only one most Britons have ever known. In the Scottish village of Ballater, where residents regard the royal family as neighbors, hundreds of people watched in silence and some threw flowers in front of the hearse as it passed.

Before reaching the Scottish capital, the cortege is traveling down what is effectively a royal memory lane — passing through locations laden with House of Windsor history including Dyce, where in 1975 the queen formally opened the U.K.’s first North Sea oil pipeline, and Fife near St. Andrews University, where her grandson William, now the Prince of Wales, studied and met his future wife, Catherine.

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Sunday’s solemn drive through Scotland comes a day after the queen’s eldest son was formally proclaimed the new monarch — King Charles III — at a pomp-filled accession ceremony steeped in ancient tradition and political symbolism.

“I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty, which have now passed to me,” Charles said as he took on the duties of monarch.

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He will be proclaimed king in other nations of the United Kingdom — Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — and in towns across the country Sunday.

Earlier, proclamations were held in other parts of the Commonwealth — the group of former British Empire colonies — including Australia and New Zealand.

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In the New Zealand capital, Wellington, the British monarch’s representative, Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro, said: “On behalf of all New Zealanders, I extend to King Charles our loyalty and support and wishes for a long and happy reign.”


Even as he mourned his late mother, Charles was getting down to work. He was meeting at Buckingham Palace with the secretary-general of the Commonwealth, a group of nations that grapples with affection for the queen and lingering bitterness over their own colonial legacies. That ranges from slavery to corporal punishment in African schools to looted artifacts held in British institutions.


Amid the grief enveloping the House of Windsor, there were hints of a possible family reconciliation. Prince William and his brother Harry, together with their respective wives, Catherine, Princess of Wales, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, delighted mourners near Windsor Castle with a surprise joint appearance Saturday.

The queen’s coffin will take a circuitous journey back to the capital. On Monday, it will be taken from Holyroodhouse to nearby St. Giles’ Cathedral, where it will remain until Tuesday, when it will be flown to London. The coffin will be moved from Buckingham Palace on Wednesday to the Houses of Parliament to lie in state until the funeral at Westminster Abbey on Sept. 19.

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In Ballater, near Balmoral, the Rev. David Barr said locals consider the royals as “neighbors” and try to treat them as locals when they spend summers in the Scottish Highlands.

“When she comes up here, and she goes through those gates, I believe the royal part of her stays mostly outside,” he said. “And as she goes in, she was able to be a wife, a loving wife, a loving mum, a loving gran and then later on a loving great-gran — and aunty — and be normal.” (AP)

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NDLEA sets ablaze 1.8 tons of cocaine as Marwa promises drug cartels tough time +photos

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Tougher time awaits drug barons and cartels operating in Nigeria if they fail to back out of their criminal trade and embrace legitimate ventures. Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) gave the assurance on Tuesday 27th September 2022 while leading stakeholders to witness the crushing and setting ablaze 1.8 tons of cocaine recovered by the Agency from a warehouse in Ikorodu area of Lagos last week.
The NDLEA had in a well-coordinated and intelligence led operation that lasted two days last week stormed a hidden warehouse at 6 Olukunola street, Solebo estate Ikorodu where 1.8 tons of cocaine were recovered and five suspects including a Jamaican were arrested. Following the historical seizure, which is the largest in the Agency’s history, an order of the Federal High Court in Lagos was obtained for the public destruction of the consignment.
Speaking at the venue of the public destruction in Badagry area of Lagos Tuesday, Gen. Marwa who was represented by the Agency’s Director, Prosecution and Legal Services, Deputy Commander General of Narcotics, DCGN Sunday Joseph, said the sheer volume of the drug haul, with street value put at two hundred and seventy-eight million, two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($278, 250,000), equivalent to one hundred and ninety-four billion, seven hundred and seventy-five million (N194, 775,000,000) naira, speaks volume about the extent of the nefarious activities of the drug underworld. He said this has made it imperative for Nigerians to continue to support NDLEA in the renewed war against illicit drugs.
He said out of the 1.8-ton seizure, 1, 828 blocks of the cocaine will be crushed and set ablaze while the remnant will be secured for purpose of prosecution of the suspects who were brought to witness the procedure and sign the certificate of destruction. According to the NDLEA boss, “the Agency is proceeding with the prosecution of those arrested in connection with this consignment. On this, the public can rest assured that NDLEA shall pursue the trial to a logical conclusion. Since January 25, 2021, when we commenced our offensive action against drug traffickers, the Agency has secured record convictions. Presently, 2, 904 drug offenders are serving various jail terms, while other cases are ongoing in court, which we are confident will end in positive results too.”
To the drug underworld, he said “the bust of the syndicate responsible for the cocaine warehoused in Ikorodu is a message to drug cartels that their investments in the illicit drug trade will go up in flames as you are about to witness while they also risk losing their freedom because the present NDLEA is committed to arresting, prosecuting and ensuring the conviction of those involved in illicit drugs. That is not all, we now also go after their assets acquired with the proceeds of the criminal trade.”
Marwa said the fact that the Ikorodu operation was conducted clinically without any skirmish or bloodshed is further testimony to the evolution of the NDLEA and its new capabilities, and a pointer to the fact that the game has changed in the war against illicit drugs.
He expressed appreciation to the Agency’s international partners, especially the American Drug Enforcement Administration (US-DEA) that supported the cocaine syndicate bust and the Nigerian military that provided additional firepower during the operation, as well as other law enforcement agencies that have been supporting efforts to rid Nigeria of illicit drugs.
While soliciting for more support for the Agency’s work, Marwa said “the safety of our society is the responsibility of every one of us and every citizen shall be fulfilling his or her civic duty by assisting the Agency to clean up our communities and cities by joining our War Against Drug Abuse (WADA)”, adding that “together, we can make this country secure.”

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Femi Babafemi
Director, Media & Advocacy
NDLEA Headquarters Abuja
Tuesday 27th September 2022

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Just In: Unidentified Gunmen Attack Military Checkpoint In Enugu, Kill 2

cleric, Principal, Enugu
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Two people are feared dead in Enugu State, southeast Nigeria, following an attack, Tuesday morning, September 26, 2022, by unknown gunmen.

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It was gathered that the gunmen attacked a military checkpoint at Obeagu-Amodu road in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State.

Naijablitznews reports that this is not the first time gunmen were attacking security agencies along that axis. The frequent attacks led to the deployment of the combined team of security operatives.

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However, it was gathered that the unknown gunmen stormed the area again in two Lexus Jeeps and one Toyota Sienna bus around 7:25 a.m. The gunmen reportedly opened fire at the combined team of the Police and the military.

Although the casualty figure is still unclear, a source said at least two persons died in the military checkpoint attack, but the Enugu Police Command is yet to issue a statement on the reported attack.

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Diri Defends Deputy on Allegation of Disloyalty, Denies Rift With Former Gov Dickson

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Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa has dismissed allegations that his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, is disloyal.

The governor, in a statement issued by his aide, Dr Kola Oredipe, also denied any rift with his predecessor, Sen. Seriake Dickson.

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Diri reaffirmed that he has implicit confidence in Ewhrudjakpo, describing him as a worthy partner in the governance of the state.

A group in the Bayelsa Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Bayelsa Progressive Vanguard (BPV), had on Sunday decried the activities of the deputy governor.

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The group had alleged that Ewhrudjakpo was working against the interest of the governor.

In a statement signed by its leader, Erepadei Ebiowei, the BPV said it had observed with dismay that most of the actions of Ewhrujakpor were unbecoming of a deputy governor.

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The group alleged that the deputy governor was running a parallel administration within the government despite the latitude he enjoyed from the governor.

It also accused Ewhrujakpor of hobnobbing and meeting with aggrieved members within the ruling party and opposition party candidates of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

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The group called on the leadership of the PDP in the state and at the national level to probe the deputy governor.

According to the BPV, if unchecked, the deputy governor will constitute the greatest threat to the fortunes of the party in the 2023 elections. (NAN)

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