Ambassador Muhammad-Bande receives from María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés the symbolic instrument of office
History was made at the United Nations in New York on Monday as Nigeria’s permanent representative, Ambassador Tijjani Muhammad-Bande was sworn in as president of the 74th UN General Assembly.
Bande was elected in June by acclamation. He succeeded Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, the 54 year-old Ecuadorian diplomat and politician.
Bande’s first task will be to preside over UNGA, which kicks off in New York in just over a week.
Ambassador Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, speaks at the event
UN Sec. Gen Antonio Guterres, Bande and María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés
The handing over was witnessed by UN Secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, his deputy, Amina Mohammed and a delegation from Nigeria.
Bande has had an outstanding academic career in Nigeria, before he was appointed Nigeria’s ambassador by President Buhari.
Bande and María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés
Tijjani Muhammad- Bande, with UN deputy secretary, Amina Mohammed and Fatima Kyari Mohammed of AU
The Nigerian well wishers with Ambassador Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, fifth from right
He studied political science at Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria, where he obtained his first bachelors degree.
Then he got an MA from Boston University in the United States, and a Ph.D from the University of Toronto, Canada.
He has been the recipient of many awards and honours, most notably, Nigeria’s Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR).
In a recent interview with UN News, Bande highlighted poverty eradication, quality education, and inclusion as his top priorities.
*Photos: Sunday Aghaeze/State House