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H.E Olufemi Michael Abikoye, the outgoing Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana made a passionate appeal to the UN for Africa to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council. He said “Africa must be on the seat because we have the resources, intellectuals and man-power. There cannot be peace and development except there’s democracy. And we cannot talk about democracy without democratizing the Security Council. So, in the end, everybody has a voice heard”. He made this call during a farewell ceremony hosted by UNFPA in his honour as the outgoing Nigerian High Commissioner, at Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra, on the 21st of January 2020.

The UNFPA Country Representative, Mr. Niyi Ojuolape, in his welcoming remarks acknowledged the support of the High Commissioner to the UNFPA Country Office particularly the role he played when the issue of comprehensive sexuality came up in Ghana. He said, “By explaining vividly how Nigeria- a multi-ethnic and religious country- reached a consensus with all stakeholders, he calmed a lot of anxious policy makers and concerned parents”. Mr. Ojuolape used the opportunity to highlight key aspects of on UNFPA’s life saving work in sexual and reproductive health.

Speaking on behalf of the diplomatic community, H.E. Claudia Turbay Quintero the Colombian High Commissioner to Ghana, praised the H.E. Michael Abiyoke on his good leadership in deepening the cordial socio-cultural relationship between Nigeria and Ghana during his tenure. “We are happy to have created a bond beyond Ghana and Nigeria. This is a fulfilment of your job as a High Commissioner”, she added.

High Commissioner Abikoye commenced his 30-year diplomatic journey in Ghana where he first served as a Minister Counsellor from 1998 to 2001. After several duty tours in different countries he was assigned High Commissioner to Ghana in 2017.

H.E. Abikoye’s described his efforts at forging good Nigeria-Ghana relations under the three principles of consultation, collaboration and cooperation. These principles were highlighted during his engagements with the Nigerian community in light of the current challenging circumstances of Nigerian traders in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.

The event was well-attended by members of the diplomatic corps, staff of the Nigerian High Commission and comrades who attested to the zeal exhibited by the High Commissioner. They promised to uphold his principles of peace and democracy.