THE COMMONWEALTH: E Pluribus Nigeria

Beside the fairy-tale finery of distinguished delegates crowding into London's 132-year-old Lancaster House, the pale Colonial Office functionaries in their sack coats and striped trousers looked dignified but inconspicuous. Their appearance reflected their role. They were lost among the multihued robes, top-heavy turbans and richly feathered headgear of ebony-featured emissaries who had been summoned to London to speed the independence of some 33 million ill-assorted black British subjects in Nigeria. The result will be the creation of the largest independent state in Africa, the fourth most populous in the Commonwealth.


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