The Prince of Wales’s visit to a Nigerian city has been cancelled after security measures introduced following deadly regional clashes disrupted plans for the trip.
Charles is said to be disappointed not to be travelling to Jos on the last day of his West African tour, when he would have heard first-hand about the inter-communal violence between farmers and cattle herders.
The Foreign Office stressed the cancellation on Thursday was not security related, as the recent clashes would not have prevented the visit, but rather it was the authorities’ security measures, introduced after the violence, which have affected operational arrangements for the trip.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “Due to operational constraints beyond our control, we have decided at this time not to include Jos during their royal highnesses’ visit to Nigeria.
“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.
“The decision was taken upon advice from the Nigerian Government and others involved in security and operational aspects of the visit.”
The prince will now spend Thursday in the Nigerian capital of Abuja when he is due to hear about efforts to bring the communities together in Nigeria’s Plateau state.
Clashes between the mostly Muslim nomadic cattle herders and Christian farmers, usually over land and grazing rights, have escalated into deadly violence which has killed thousands over the last year.
Earlier the prince, who is on the Ghana-leg of his West African tour, gave a speech where he outlined his continued concerns about the threat of climate change, rapid urbanisation and depletion of resources.
He told his audience, which included Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo and the Duchess of Cornwall, that the Commonwealth could play a vital part in safeguarding the planet.
Charles said: “In such an uncertain and changing world, none of us can know what kind of a planet our grandchildren, and great grandchildren, will inhabit, but the Commonwealth, it seems to me, offers us a vital mechanism to help ensure that it is not poisoned and polluted and that its vitality is not compromised.
“Therefore, we owe it to them – and to every one of our 2.3 billion fellow Commonwealth citizens – to renew and strengthen the partnerships between us, and use them to give life to the aspirations of each generation.”
After the speech, the prince attended a plastics event where groups, from artists and civil society to the Ghanaian government and industry experts, outlined plans and ideas to tackle the issue. Courtesy: Press Association