On Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari stated that Nigeria looks forward to working with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on a variety of issues, including food security, energy access, anti-terrorism, and climate change. “The government and people of Nigeria look forward to working with Prime Minister Sunak and the leaders of other Commonwealth Nations to deliver them,” President Muhammadu Buhari had said in a statement titled “Statement by President Muhammadu Buhari on the incoming Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the right honorable Rishi Sunak Prime Minister.”
It read: “On behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the largest of 21 countries of Africa that are members of the Commonwealth, I welcome incoming British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to office. As the first Prime Minister of British-Asian descent and the youngest in about 200 years, these milestones will be especially inspiring for young people across our 2.4 billion-population, 56-nation Commonwealth. On this important day, we should also remember the enduring partnership and unbreakable friendship between our countries: the United Kingdom and Nigeria.”
The President went on to say that the Commonwealth of Nations will continue to fight terrorism while also addressing the global food crisis, which is raising the cost of living for individuals and families worldwide.
Rishi Sunak as the UK’s first prime minister of color and the first Hindu prime minister, boldly demonstrated his religion by performing his rituals on his first day in office as prime minister; an act that could have been termed fanatical if he were of the Christian faith. It aould have stirred so many discussion topics: Religious Bias, Separstion of Church and State, among others. Quite a number of media agencies woukd not have moved on.
The converse is the case with Sunak. No mainstream media agency saw his rituals news worthy. Many that gave it attention rather applauded it saying it is proof that the new monarch is truly the defender of faiths; for allowing a buddhist sit on the affairs of his kingdom. Though his new office is a milestone in Britain’s evolution as a multicultural society; with significant increase in the number of politicians of color appointed to senior cabinet positions such as Chancellor, Home Secretary, and Foreign Secretary.
According to Sunder Katwala of the British Future thinktank, which focuses on identity and race, it was a “historic moment” that “would simply not have been possible even a decade or two ago.” However, the main question in the hearts of the populace, which the thinktanks did not project, is: “what would have made it impossible; is it based on racial discrimination, or a matter of standards considering the sensitivity of the offices and the understanding that it is indeed a responsibility that requires more than meets the eye capabilities to be successful at it?”