New York – Prof. Tijjani Bande, Nigeria’s Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the UN, says Nigeria has contributed immensely to peace and development issues globally and is very proud of such contributions.
Bande said this in New York, where the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN hosted Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin.
“Nigeria has contributed, whether people like it or not, to peacekeeping sine its independence. This record cannot be written off.
“We have everything to be proud as Nigerians about what our achievements are and I’m very glad that from earlier discussions, what was said was what I know.
“When we arrive on scene, we are noticed for our excellence and I’m glad that the briefing and comments of the CDS and leader of this delegation at the places where he went to were appreciated as such, which is what is important.
“We give leadership in fora that we interact with; you cannot take this away from us as Nigerians; a lot of people may not know.
“Why is it important? Because when Nigeria commits to something, it commits to it fully. This is extremely important.”
The Nigerian envoy also said that the permanent mission was working on a daily basis to properly project the country’s image and to tell its true story to the world.
“We here in New York are everyday doing the very best we can to properly project the correct image of our country.
“And for those who do not know the weight of our country, to tell them without being abusive.
“There are lots of forces at home and here that do not wish us well; we know them but they cannot defeat us.
“Boko Haram, when it started, gobbled territories quickly, now it holds not a single territory in our country; this is remarkable.
“I will not have to reel out what all of us know concerning the contributions of the Nigerian military to peace on the continent and especially in our region.”
Earlier, Olonisakin had said that he led the Nigerian defence team to New York following an invitation by the UN to all national chiefs of defence staff.
The defence chiefs of more than 100 countries contributing troops to UN missions met to discuss issues of peacekeeping operations at the Second Chiefs of Defence Conference.
He said Nigeria made its contributions regarding all the issues that bothered on the country’s activities as they affected its troops, issues in Mali, sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers.
The others were gender benchmark by the UN and bilateral discussions with other chiefs of defence in the West African sub-region.