New York - The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, on Thursday received a letter of invitation from President Goodluck Jonathan to attend activities marking the nation’s centenary scheduled for February 27.
The UN Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, received the invitation on behalf of Ban who was in Kuwait for a fund raising conference to support the Syrian people.
However, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Martin Uhomoibhi, delivered the invitation also accompanied by Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Joy Ogwu and the Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Usman Sarki.
Speaking with reporters, Uhomoibhi described the letter as a very special letter from Mr. President, inviting the UN Secretary-General to do all he can to be present at the centenary celebration.
Uhomoibhi added that the reception was warm, the reception was very cordial and we have it on good record that they will give it very serious consideration, based on this personal delivery of this message to the Secretary-General
Responding to questions on whether the passage of anti-homosexuality law by government would not discourage the UN Secretary-General from honouring the invitation, the Permanent Secretary said there was no linkage between anti-gay legislation and the celebration.
Also on what difference the centenary celebration would make in the political structure of Nigeria in view of speculations regarding the likely consequences, Uhomoibhi said he believed this was the problem of the elite.
According to him, such imaginations are the problems of the elite, saying "we should not deceive ourselves on how the average Nigerian feels about his country''.