The newly elected President of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, has been admonished to give good account of his new office.
President Muhammadu Buhari, while congratulating him on his new portfolio, urged Mr Muhammad-Bande to justify the confidence reposed in him by Nigerians and the world.
The Nigerian diplomat was received by the president at the state house on Thursday, according to statement by a presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina.
‘‘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.’’
It was Mr Muhammad-Bande’s 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.
‘‘I believe you have earned the respect of your colleagues and I appreciate your coming to see us”, Mr Buhari told the professor.
In his remarks, the ambassador 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.”
He 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, according to the release.
The statement highlighted that the diplomat outlined his vision statement for the UNGA Presidency, “stressing that the fight against corruption and return of assets to the countries of origin are on the agenda.
‘‘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.’’
Mr Muhammad-Bande would be in office as the United Nations, an international organisation founded in 1945, gears up to commemorate her 74th anniversary.