Professor, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, will tomorrow (Monday) take over as the President of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
He is to succeed María Fernanda Espinosa, whose term ends in September 2019.
Muhammad-Bande, who is a Nigerian was elected on June 4, 2019 at the 74th Session of the Assembly in New York.
Mr Muhammad-Bande, who has had an outstanding career as a scholar and diplomat, has a B.Sc (Political Science) from the Ahmadu Bello University, MA (Political Science), Boston University and Ph.D (Political Science), University of Toronto, Canada.
Muhammad-Bande started at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, rising from Graduate Assistant in 1980 to full Professor in 1998, and ultimately to Vice-Chancellor, in 2004, a position he held for five years.
He also served as the Director-General of Le Centre Africain de Formation et de Recherche Administratives pour le Dèveloppement (CAFRAD), in Tangier, Morocco between 2000-2004.
He held the position of Director-General of Nigeria’s National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, the country’s most reputable policy institution for training leaders from the public and private sectors, including high echelon officials of Nigeria’s Armed Forces from 2010 to 2016.
As Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, he worked with colleagues from all regions of the World to achieve common objectives and served as the Vice-President of the General Assembly during the 71st session.
Muhammad-Bande who is to assume duties tomorrow has remain active in several fora, including as Chair of the United Nations Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34), Member, Advisory Board of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre and Chair of the ECOWAS Group (2018-2019).
The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, had while congratulating Mr Muhammad-Bande on his appointment, noted that as Nigerian and an African, “you have invaluable insights into the continent’s challenges”.
“It is my pleasure to congratulate Professor Tijjani Muhammad-Bande as President of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. From your years as Permanent Representative of Nigeria, you know the United Nations well.
“As a Nigerian and an African, you have invaluable insights into the continent’s challenges – such as the Sahel and Lake Chad basin – and more broadly into the challenges our world faces across the three pillars of our work, peace, sustainable development and human rights.”
Early life and education
Muhammad-Bande was born on 7 December 1957 in the town of Zagga in present-day Kebbi State, northwestern Nigeria. He attended Ahmadu Bello University for undergraduate studies, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science in 1979 before proceeding to Boston University, where he graduated with a Master of Arts in Political Science in 1981.