[NEWS AND VIEWS]
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December 03, 2003Enter the Queen. The Queen of England, Elizabeth II, arrives in Abuja today, with the little children who presented flowers to Her Majesty when she first stepped her feet on Nigerian soil now grandmothers themselves.
The Queen will be kept away from the nitty gritty of CHOGM's politics, but will be kept busy all the same. She will get the chance to see a few of the rustic villages just outside the city, including the settlement of Karu, whose orphanage is under the patronage of the wife of the late dictator, general Sani Abacha.
260 stranded children live in the home, which is the biggest such charity etablished for children in Abuja. The wife of the late general Abacha, Mariam provided the initial funding for the home with money realise from her pet project - the Family Support Programme (FSP).
For security reasons, the Queen's itinerary remains under wraps for security reasons, but we hear that, as soon as she is through with CHOGM's opening ceremony , the queen may also be visiting the settlement of Jiwa, where there is HIV/AIDS management centre run by NGO, ActionAid.
If she goes, she'll be following in the footsteps of Princess Anne, who visited by centre in October 2001. Princess Anne also visited the British Council, and we suspect her mother is going there too.
Council officials seem to be spending a lot of time tidying up their offices, indicating Her Majesty may be planning a courtesy call. More on the Queen on arrival...