Visiting Prince of Wales, Charles George, on Tuesday held a closed-door meeting with Nigerian traditional rulers at the UK High Commissioner residence in Maitama, Abuja.
The meeting had in attendance the Ooni of Ife, Enitan Ogunwusi; Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar; Oba of Benin, Ewuare II; Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe; Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, and others.
Charles, who had earlier visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, was on the last leg of his tour of the Gambia, Ghana, and Nigeria with his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.
In the course of the meeting, the Nigerian royal fathers had many things to discuss with the heir to the British royal throne including security and development issues in the country, girl child education, action against human trafficking, and illegal migration.
Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, asked Prince Charles to support the agitation for the repatriation of ancient Benin artifacts which were taken to the United Kingdom in 1897 by the British authorities.
He stated that the repatriation of the artifacts would enable him to establish Oba Palace Museum for the promotion of tourism in Benin City, Edo State.
Ewuare said, “Suffice to say that Nigerians in general and Benin people in particular will be most delighted to have your royal highness throw his royal weight behind our efforts to have some of our ancient artifacts that were taken in 1897 from the Royal Court of Benin returned to Benin to establish Oba Palace Museum for the promotion of tourism in Benin City, Edo State.”
On his part, the Emir of Kano told journalists that the parley also discussed climate change, immigration, demographic explosion, population control, and their consequences.
He said, “The population of Nigeria today, is four, five times what it was in 1960, we are moving from 45 million to about 200m; We are not looking at the level of desertification, the erosion in Niger Delta, the loss of the reserve in Chad Basin. Basically, there is population explosion and you got diminishing resources.”
Despite the population explosion in the country, Sanusi stated that Nigerians had not changed the way they built houses, adding that everyone wanted a plot of land, noting that this had forced the government to convert farmlands to residential areas.