The passing of the longest reigning British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II was announced on Thursday 8th September 2022. She died at the age of 96, after a reign of 70 years. The queen was well known for her strict adherence to the customs of the state. She, began her reign in 1952 at the age of 25, after the death of her father. At that age, she became the queen of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Canada, Australia, and Sri Lanka. She also became the Head of the Commonwealth at the beginning of her reign.
While the queen is known for her many achievements and contributions, there have been controversial posts about the tyrannical power of the deceased queen. Countries that were colonized by the British have questioned whether they should mourn the late queen, seeing as these countries are still struggling with the aftermath of the colonization.
A few days ago, a tweet by a Nigerian-born American professor, Dr. Uju Anya, associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, sparked a wide range of reactions on social media. She tweeted “If anyone expects me to express anything but disdain for the monarch who supervised a government that sponsored the genocide that massacred and displaced half my family and the consequences of which those alive today are still trying to overcome, you can keep wishing upon a star”.
This viral tweet caused debates across the world. On one other hand, realistically, countries like Nigeria have remained almost the same since colonization. While some of the colonized states claim to be independent, their thoughts, values, actions, and structure are wired to please people in power and perhaps, the queen which aligns with Dr. Anya’s assertion that the throne of the monarch very much stood for enslavement and colonialism. In contrast to Dr. Anya’s assertion, some are of the notion that either way, the British monarch, and the colonization exposed people to the gains of liberty as an independent nation. They argue that not much can be changed when a country is colonized and that it is only unrealistic to assume that the now independent state will not submit to those who gave her freedom.
With a critical analysis of both sides, the latter group of people seems to be hypocritical in their opinions. They seem to be riding on their emotions and piety. Truly, the advent of the British widened the horizons of the colonized in some areas such as religion which is almost becoming the death of us, governance, and education, to name a few but in retrospect, the colonialization has also inflicted direct harm to our culture and humanity.
Do you offer praises to someone who spearheaded the government that picked up the tab for a massacre, even when such a person may have given you bread to eat in the past?
Opinion by: Victoria Oyebande
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