Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja formally congratulated the President-elect of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and Nigeria’s Permanent Representative at the UN, Ambassador Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, advising him to justify the confidence reposed in him by Nigerians and the world.
Presidential spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement, said Buhari made the remarks while receiving Muhammad-Bande at the State House.
‘‘You have intellectually prepared yourself for this position, well experienced in the field and unanimously elected by your peers. You must now justify the confidence reposed in you by Nigerians and the world,’’ Buhari told his guest.
Adesina said the Nigerian diplomat was on his first visit to the country since he was elected by acclamation as the 74th President of the General Assembly on June 4, 2019, in New York.
He also said the president added: ‘‘I believe you have earned the respect of your colleagues and I appreciate your coming to see us.’’
The statement also said Muhammad-Bande, in his remarks, said his election as the 74th President of the General Assembly was successful because of the leadership in Nigeria and the unflinching support of African countries.
It said the president’s guest promised to give a good account of the country, adding that issues of great importance to Nigeria including peace and security, poverty eradication, education, inclusion and climate action, particularly on the Lake Chad region, would be on the front burner of his presidency.
It also said the permanent representative, who outlined his vision statement for the UNGA Presidency, stressed that the fight against corruption and return of assets to the countries of origin were on the agenda.
His words: ‘‘The election of Nigeria or a Nigerian into an international position can only happen if what is happening at home has the confidence of the international community.
‘‘The fight against corruption has already gained traction, under the leadership of Nigeria at the United Nations, discussions on combating illicit financial flows, the fight to return assets to the countries of origin, have been led effectively by Nigeria with the support of many countries, especially Norway.’’