President Muhammadu Buhari has said he does not have any house outside Nigeria.
Buhari said this while receiving Letters of Credence from the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom, Richard Hugh Montgomery, and his counterpart from Sri Lanka, Velupillai Kananathan, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday.
The President disclosed that he made this known to the King of England, King Charles III, during a meeting after the latter asked him if he had a house in England.
“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,” President Buhari said.
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He added that the cultural exchange, through education and training, with Britain had been on for many years, recalling that he had military training at Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot in England, from 1962 to 1963, and Mechanical Transport Officer’s Course at the Army Mechanical Transport School in Borden, United Kingdom, 1964.
Buhari told the British diplomat that a good understanding of cultural differences, and respect for institutions paved the way for most of the successes of the United Kingdom, noting that previous diplomats had established relations with the Sultan of Sokoto, Emir of Kano, Shehu of Borno, and Emir of Ilorin, the ancient gateway to the North.
President Buhari further enjoined Montgomery to always uphold the noble standards of diplomacy, like his predecessors, by respecting the traditional institutions in Nigeria.
The President noted that the relations with both UK and Sri Lanka will be further consolidated with their consideration for local culture, traditional rulers, and institutions.
“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,” President Buhari told Montgomery and Kananathan in separate meetings.
Buhari told the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom that the diplomatic relations, spanning many years, had been sustained on mutual respect for cultures, assuring that all courtesies will be extended to him to make his stay in Nigeria memorable.
On his part, Montgomery said the United Kingdom has always held Nigeria and its cultural institutions in high esteem, while relating the best wishes of King Charles III, as Nigeria prepares for the handover ceremony on May 29, 2023.
The High Commissioner noted that the monarchy had been an integral part of the British system, adding that it had remained a major attraction and source of honour.
Also speaking, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka told President Buhari that the country will continue to share its skills and experience with the Nigerian military in tackling insurgency.
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