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Nigerian Emerges Sergeant-at-Arms in British Parliament

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Queen Elizabeth II has appointed Nigerian-born Ugbana Oyet, 43, as the United Kingdom’s House of Common Sergeant-at-Arms.

The appointment was announced by the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, on Tuesday.

According to the announcement shared on the website of the House of Commons, Oyet is a chartered engineer and was appointed following the retirement of Mohammed Kamal El-Hajji in July.

With this appointment, Oyet has become the new ceremonial head of security and the only person legally allowed to carry a sword in the House of Commons.

It was reported that the 43-year-old was already well known to many members of the House through his role as Parliament’s Principal Electrical Engineer and Programme Director for the Estate-wide Engineering Infrastructure and Resilience Programme – which aims to make the parliamentary estate carbon neutral by 2050.

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With his new appointment, Oyet would become even more visible as the carrier of the House of Commons mace during the Speaker’s procession, and into the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament.

Reacting to his appointment, Oyet said, “It is a great honour to serve in such a historic role, which combines the needs and challenges of the modern era, while also maintaining the dignity and essential traditions that have helped Parliament endure.

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“I’m a real people-person and love working closely with MPs, staff and members of the public, so I will do my best to enhance morale and improve the excellent service already provided by the Serjeant’s office.”

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