The United Nations (UN) office in Nigeria yesterday maintained that although the suicide bomb attack on its premises a year ago terribly devastated the morale of staff and set back the work of the global body in Nigeria, the spirit of sticking to the UN charter and promoting good causes in the country is not broken.
Exactly one year after the blast, the UN is yet to complete the reconstruction work at the bombed edifice and its agencies are still operating from different offices and hotels scattered around Abuja. A total of 23 persons lost their lives during the attack.
At the one year commemorative anniversary yesterday, the UN resident coordinator Dauda Toure said: “Although the devastating attack took the lives of our colleagues and partners and maimed many people, all of whom were in the building in the pursuit of service to humanity, our spirits have not been dampened.
“Their death mobilizes us more than ever before. Their sacrifice will not be in vain. We will strive to pursue our work for the people of Nigeria for the continuance of peace and stability of this great nation, and the socio-economic development of all. The UN identifies with the people of all its member states, which justifies the expression ‘we, the people,’ as prescribed in the UN Charter. The families of our fallen colleagues should be proud of the altruism of their loved ones,” he added.
The UN country office also said yesterday that its agencies and organisations in Nigeria remember, with fond memories and prayers, all who lost their lives as a result of the unfortunate bombing of the UN House in Abuja on the tragic Friday, August 26, 2011.
It said further: “We also reiterate our expression of solidarity and support to all the more than 120 persons who sustained various degrees of injuries from the bomb attack. We convey the continous support and appreciation of the UN Secretary-General and all the Executive Heads of various Agencies and Organisations”
Addressing members of the diplomatic community, government functionaries, development partners and the media at the event, Toure said, “the UN once again presents its deepest condolences to the families of victims, reiterated our gratitude to the government and people of Nigeria from all walks of life, irrespective of their religion, philosophical or political beliefs, for their active support, solidarity and commitment to the mission of the UN throughout this difficult period. The UN Country Team also expresses gratitude to several federal institutions and state governments which have made available temporary offices for various UN agencies during this period of the forced displacement of UN staff and officials.”