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Unilag dons express confidence in newly-elected Nigerian UN General Assembly President   

From left: President-elect of the 74th UN Genetral Assembly, Amb. Tijani Mohammad-Bande; outgoing president of the 73rd UNGA, Ms Maria Espinosa, and UN Secretray General, Antonio Guterres, shortly after Mohammad-Bande’s election at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday.
Prof. Tijjani Muhammad- Bande.                                 

By Oladapo Udom

Lagos, June 5, 2019

Some professors at the University of Lagos (Unilag) on Wednesday expressed confidence in the ability of Amb. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, a Nigerian, who was elected the 74th President of the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA, on Tuesday.

 They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews in Lagos that they were elated to have one of their country-men leading an international organisation of great reputation.

NAN reports that Muhammad-Bande was on June 4 elected the President of the upcoming 74th session of the Assembly to succeed María Fernanda Espinosa, whose term ends in September.

Prof. Monday Ugbangha, Dean of the Faculty of Education said that he had no doubt in Muhammad-Bande’s abilities to be a good leader.

He, therefore, encouraged him to do well and distinguish himself.

Ugbangha, however, advised leaders of the African continent to avoid putting too much pressure on him regarding the development of the continent, saying that he is to be there for the entire world.

“However, at that level, there is a whole lot of politicking. So, in making decisions that concern Nigeria and Africa, he should bear in mind that he is one of us.

“He can use his influence to positively impact the black race but we should not put him under pressure,’’ Ugbangha said.

In the same vein, Prof. Peter Adeniyi, said that this development was a wake-up call for the Federal Government to do well in order to leverage on the advantages the country has in  international organisations.

“I congratulate Muhammad-Bande and wish him well but there is no way he can use his position to project development in the country, if the country itself is not properly positioned.

“It is therefore important for our leaders to get it right so that he will be happy to report on it and further help the government back home to achieve great feats,’’ he said.

Adeniyi said that the government must do well in order to make it easier for him to be able to influence decisions and policies that will be to the country’s advantage,’’ he said.

He said that Muhammad-Bande becoming UNGA President pointed to one thing which is that, an individual who is good, will always be found out anywhere.

Prof. Boniface Igbeneghu said that the challenge that comes with such position is for him to be able to use his office to project Africa to the world.

Igbeneghu said that Africa should become the centre piece of his policy drive in terms of development, proper reporting and ensuring that the best comes to the continent.

“He should use his position to ensure that the best comes to Africa not just in aids alone but in technical assistance as well.

“We are tired of getting aids or loans that are tied to one condition or the other. We want Africa to be technologically-developed for the purpose of technological advancement.

“So, he should be able to put Africa in that position through his diplomatic moves so that Africa can benefit from his presence there,’’ Igbeneghu said.

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