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High Commissioner Lauds Nigeria, India Relations

The outgoing Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Ajjampur Ghanashyam, has lauded the cordial relations between Nigeria and India, saying Nigeria is his second home.
Ghanashyam told journalists in Abuja that he felt at home in Nigeria during his two-year service, adding: ”Nigeria and India have become a family.’’
The envoy explained that he received the highest honour from Nigerians in the course of his 40-year diplomatic career,
He said that his stay in Nigeria would remain a memorable experience throughout his lifetime.
“When I leave, I am happy and contented because people have asked me `why are you leaving so early?’ That is the highest praise you can get from any country.
“So I feel nice, happy and contented. But you can take me out of Nigeria but you cannot take Nigeria out of me; Nigeria will always be there in me.
“I travelled about half of Nigeria but people have come to meet me and people have received me with such affection and with such amazing warmth,” he said.
Ghanashyam said that he did not feel like a foreigner being in Nigeria, adding: “I still have a lot of things to do and I feel that I only came recently. So I’ve made a long list of things for my successor to do.”
The envoy said the relationship between India and Nigeria predated the colonial era, explaining that the two countries also shared many things in common.
“We (India and Nigeria) are old friends. In fact, I say we are not even friends; we are family because we have been here long before others came.
“We have been with you through thick and thin; we have been with you in difficult circumstances; we have been with you under military leaderships and under democratically-elected leaderships.
“We have been with you all the time. So you understand us and we understand you,” he said.
The envoy explained that he was able to achieve a lot to strengthen the India-Nigeria relations.
Ghanasyam, who was concurrently accredited to Benin Republic, Chad and Niger, said he visited many states in Nigeria and had met leaders in a bid to improve the bilateral relations.
He said that as Nigeria and India shared a similar past, the two countries also shared common problems and similar future.
“I have been talking to the Nigerian leadership about our past and our future and our future is also tied together, not because our past is tied together but because we are the same.
“Our enemies are the same – terrorism. We have the same problems as you have.
“We have unemployment and that is also your problem. We also have poverty and you have poverty.
“So everything that we learn, we will also like to learn with our friends like Nigeria. I have tried to do that for the past two years,” he said. (NAN)

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