To the unrelenting tensions of a Nigeria already well on its way to independence Robertson brought--and needed--all the negotiating skills of patient determination and iron geniality that he had learned in Sudan. To these he added the diplomatic diffidence demanded in a royal representative whose task was to hand over the responsibilities of supreme office to an elected prime minister and cabinet and cede all but the ultimate authority with grace and goodwill, yet who had, while pressing for localization, to retain the confidence of a still largely expatriate civil service and a sizeable British commercial community. The signal of his success in managing to please most and affront few came when the Nigerian ministers not only asked for his tenure of office to be extended by two years, but also invited him to continue after independence (1 October 1960) as the new nation's first governor-general. Robertson handed over to a Nigerian successor in November 1960.
The photo shows Britain's Princess Alexandra of Kent posing with Nigeria's federal prime minister, Alahaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa with Sir James Robertson ot thier left during a press reception at Government House, Lagos, Nigeria in 1960. The princess represented Queen Elizabeth.
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