Prince Charles cuts out stop in Nigeria over security concerns
The Prince of Wales has cut out a stop of a trip to Nigeria over security concerns, following months of deadly clashes between nomadic herders and farmers in the restive region.
Prince Charles and his second wife, Camilla, arrived in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Tuesday, on the tail end of a West African tour that has included Gambia and Ghana.
They were expected to travel to Nigeria’s central city of Jos on Thursday, the last day of their stay, to discuss peace-building and conflict resolution.
“Due to operational constraints beyond our control, we have decided at this time not to include Jos during their royal highnesses’ visit to Nigeria,” said a British foreign office spokeswoman on Monday.
“We are delighted to have an exciting programme of activity in Abuja and Lagos which will showcase those issues close to the Prince’s and the Duchess’s hearts,” she said.
“The decision was taken upon advice from the Nigerian government and others involved in security and operational aspects of the visit.”
Jos, the Plateau state capital of about one million people, is nestled in the hills of central Nigeria and has frequently been the scene of violence.
Plateau state lies in Nigeria’s so-called Middle Belt that separates the predominantly Muslim north from the largely Christian south.
It has long been a hotbed of ethnic, sectarian and religious tensions that flare up during election season.
Nigerians are set to vote in hotly contested presidential polls in February 2019.