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Aberdeen civil servant celebrates Burns night in Nigeria

Organiser David Smith (right) with Paul Warwick and Catriona Laing
Organiser David Smith (right) with Paul Warwick and Catriona Laing

A north-east man has raised a glass to Scotland’s national bard at a Burns Supper for 100 people in the heart of East Africa.

Aberdeen civil servant John Primrose, 39, paid homage to 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.

Organiser David Smith brought in more than 28 pounds of haggis in his suitcase to help make the traditional Scottish knees-up a success on Burns’ birthday on Saturday.

He said: “Although Burns was worked as an exciseman, I’m sure he’d have approved of us smuggling some haggis to help spread the word of his work.

“I emptied two Waitrose stores, a Tesco and a Co-op of their haggis supplies to bring it over from London in my suitcase.

“The traditional and vegetarian haggis, alongside shortbread and plentiful whisky, made sure our ceilidh was in full swing… until the inevitable power cut.”

Guests from Nigeria, America, France, Canada, Finland, Germany and Spain joined the Scottish diplomats to toast Burns at the British Village social club in Abuja.

Organised by DFID, the event celebrated the fact that £6.5billion of commercial deals have been signed by British companies to help deliver jobs, growth and investment across Africa and the UK.

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