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Burns Night, Nigerian style

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By Fiona Reid
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Burns Night, Nigerian style

A MILITARY man from Dumfries has told how he raised a glass to Scotland’s national bard at a Burns Supper for 100 people in Nigeria.

Nigerian ‘clan elder’ Air Commodore Paul Warwick CBE, above left, celebrated poet Robert Burns at a diplomatic event hosted by officials from the British High Commission and the Department for International Development (DFID), based in the Nigerian capital of Abuja.

The event was also celebrating over £300million of trade deals being signed between the UK and Nigeria at last week’s UK-Africa Investment Summit.

Guests from Nigeria, America, France, Canada, Finland, Germany and Spain joined the Scottish diplomats to toast Burns and enjoy haggis, shortbread and whisky, alongside Nigerian snacks.

Paul was guest of honour at the top table and said: “The temperature was 36 °C so wearing a full kilt was a big challenge owing to several pounds of fabric weighing you down in the West African heat. “The British High Commission in Nigeria has more than ten Scots across its ranks, who are always keen to showcase Scotland’s culture and share a dram. The ceilidh dancing ended at 4.30 am.

“Robert Burns was very much an internationalist, so I’m quite sure he would have approved of the UK-Africa Investment Summit helping deliver more investment, jobs and economic growth to benefit people and businesses across Nigeria and the UK.”

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