There was a full house for the second meeting of the Purton Academic Inn in December 2003. It was held in the newly opened Bentham House Dining Rooms, and our Nigerian Guest of Honour was treated to a superb example of English traditional cooking with a delectable steak and kidney pudding as the main course of a first rate dinner. We were, in fact, the first guests at this latest addition to Purton's gastronomic facilities.
Dele Oguntimoju is a prominent village development activist in his own country as well as being a successful lawyer practising in London. He introduced his paper on Identity and Development - Lessons From Nigeria For Africa and Europe. It sparked off a friendly but quite vigorous discussion which focused on the artificial nature of the creation of the huge giant of Nigeria, despite the diversity of cultural backgrounds of its peoples.
Languages within Nigeria differ as French, German and English do in Europe. Muslims predominate in the North and the Christians in the South with English as the main language. Obvious comparisons were made with the European Union, again made up from many different countries each with their own language and cultural background. The difficulties in Nigeria with the election of one person to represent all the different people may well be experienced with the election of one President to represent all in Europe.