Nigerian, Professor Tijjani Muhammad Bande, the permanent representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, is set to become the next President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Concise News has learned.
If he is elected, he would be the second Nigerian to preside over the assembly which was established in 1946. A Nigerian, Joseph Nanven Garba presided over the UNGA in 1989.
The presidency of the UNGA changes every year between the five geographic groups: African, Asian, Eastern European, Latin American and Caribbean, and Western European.
The present UNGA president, Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcès who is from Ecuador, assumed the presidency in September 2018.
She dropped the hint on Monday that a Nigerian will be succeeding her as the UNGA president at the end of a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja.
Addressing the press together with the Nigerian foreign affairs minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, the UNGA president said she’s looking forward for a smooth transition.
She said: “Looking forward to a transition, good and smooth transition to the incoming president of the General Assembly, a Nigerian diplomat and professor that is really putting the name of Nigeria very higher.
I’m looking forward to continue with this very smooth and organize transition to the next presidency.”
For his part, the Foreign Affairs Minister said hopefully the outgoing UNGA president will be handing over to Professor Bande.
“The president of UN General Assembly will hopefully be handing over as President of the General Assembly to a Nigerian.
“So, Nigeria will assume the presidency hopefully in a few months time, in the person of Nigeria’s permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), Professor Tijjani Bande,” he said.
Bande, a former director-general of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, Plateau state was born in Kebbi State in 1957.
He holds M.A in Political Science from the Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA in 1981 and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto, Canada in 1987.
He was the Vice-Chancellor Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, between 2004 and 2009.