Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the United Nations General Assembly, arrived Nigeria to a rousing welcome on Thursday night for a four-day official visit to the country.
Muhammed-Bande, who arrived at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja at 11.45 p.m., was received by the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Comfort Lamptey, Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Charge d’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations, Amb. Samson Itegboje, among others.
The UNGA president, who was visiting Nigeria for the first time since his inauguration in September, had as part of his entourage, his Chef de Cabinet, Mari Skåre, Senior Advise,r Alex Tope, Special Assistant, Muyiwa Waheed Onifade, Advisor, Emanuel De Jesus Da Costa Tilmann and Communication Adviser, Kristina Klein.
Muhammed-Bande, while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria said, “Well I’m excited to be here and also very keen to learn about issues at home, but basically we are here to discuss issues of ageing in relation to how the life of the aged are advanced.”
For being the second Nigerian to be elected UNGA President in 30 years and how this reflects on the nation, Muhammad-Bande advised that Nigerians continue to do the things that endear them to the international community and make the nation proud.
“I think that we should continue to do the kinds of things that make us acceptable to others by doing our bit in the international community and doing also great things for our country,” he added.
Speaking on his experience so far as President of the UNGA Muhammad-Bande credited his good start to the support he enjoyed from his colleagues.
“I’m happy that the support of all colleagues has got us to a good start”, he said.
NAN reports that Muhammad-Bande is in Nigeria to attend a Regional Expert Conference on the Human Rights Situation of Older Persons in Africa as an Inter-sessional Event of the United Nations General Assembly Open-ended Working Group on Ageing.
The conference, which is for the purpose of strengthening the protection of the human rights of older persons, will hold in Abuja on November 25.
Muhammad-Bande is the second Nigerian to be elected president of UNGA in three decades.
The first Nigerian was late Gen. Joseph Garba