President Muhammadu Buhari has advised Richard Hugh Montgomery, the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom, to consistently uphold the esteemed principles of diplomacy, similar to his predecessors, by demonstrating respect for Nigeria’s traditional institutions.
During separate meetings with Ambassador Montgomery and Ambassador Velupillai Kananathan from the Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka, President Buhari emphasized the importance of preserving local culture, traditional rulers, and institutions to further strengthen relations with both countries.
“I like the way our traditional rulers and institutions are being respected, in spite of the changing times, education, and rising materialism.
“There is a lot to learn from our culture, and the traditional institutions are the custodians, and they should be respected by all,’’ expressed President Buhari to the ambassadors.
Addressing the United Kingdom High Commissioner, President Buhari acknowledged the longstanding diplomatic relations built on mutual respect for cultures. He assured Ambassador Montgomery that every courtesy would be extended to make his stay in Nigeria memorable.
President Buhari highlighted the longstanding cultural exchange between Nigeria and Britain through education and training. He reminisced about his military training at Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot, England, from 1962 to 1963, as well as his Mechanical Transport Officer’s Course at the Army Mechanical Transport School in Borden, United Kingdom, in 1964.
The President informed the British diplomat that a deep understanding of cultural differences and respect for institutions have played a significant role in the United Kingdom’s achievements. He cited previous diplomats who established relations with influential Nigerian figures such as the Sultan of Sokoto, Emir of Kano, Shehu of Borno, and Emir of Ilorin, the historic gateway to the North.
“In one of my meetings with King Charles III, he asked me an interesting question if I had a house in England, and I replied that I don’t have a house, not an inch, anywhere outside Nigeria,’ shared President Buhari.
Montgomery, in his remarks, conveyed the United Kingdom’s deep respect for Nigeria and its cultural institutions. He also extended the best wishes of King Charles III as Nigeria prepared for the upcoming handover ceremony on May 29th.
The High Commissioner acknowledged the integral role of the monarchy within the British system, which has been a source of honor and a major attraction.
Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Strengthen Relations in Energy Projects
Speaking to the Sri Lankan diplomat, President Buhari highlighted the increasing participation of women in Nigerian politics and governance. He referenced Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the first female Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, as an example.
“Recently, we got close to having the first female governor in Nigeria,” he added.
The Sri Lankan High Commissioner informed President Buhari that his country continues to share its skills and experiences with the Nigerian military in addressing insurgency. Kananathan assured the President of his commitment to further strengthen relations in energy projects, already underway in East Africa, building upon the efforts of his predecessor.
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