New York â€” Spokesman of the United Nations secretary-general Mr. Martin Nesirky has explained why former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo was prevented from entering the premises of the world body.
LEADERSHIP had exclusively reported on Friday that security operatives attached to the United Nations denied the former UN special envoy to DR Congo entrance into the 65th UN General Assembly last Tuesday.
In a press briefing with United Nations correspondents on Friday, Mr. Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman confirmed that he had heard of the incident which took place on Tuesday in front of the United Nations Building, explaining that Obasanjo and his aides, on that day, came to Gate 40, the gate at 46th Street and 1st Avenue.
He stated that the former army general and his aides did not have any United Nations-issued identification cards which could have given them easy access to the world body’s headquarters in New York.
Although Nesirky agreed that they had Event Pass for an event in the North Lawn Building, he said that they also needed valid United Nations-issued identification pass to gain access to the UN headquarters.
“You need to have a valid United Nations Ground Pass, as you (UN correspondents) have or some kind of other special access pass,” he noted.
The spokesman, who disclosed that Obasanjo and his aides were not welcomed or met by any event organizer, also indicated the important need for them to have been escorted by the event organizer if they had to be allowed into the building without a Ground Pass.
Said Nesirky: “And you also need to be escorted by the event organizer. United Nations security officers carefully review more than 12,000 people with various badges and event passes every day during the United Nations General Assembly period that we are in at the moment. There was no event organiser there to meet them (Obasanjo and his aides).”
He added that, in order to assist Obasanjo, a United Nations security official personally escorted him and his aides to the North Lawn Building and they left the complex about two hours later.