Alex Enumah in Abuja
Eight years after Boko Haram insurgents bombed the United Nations’ House in Abuja, forcing the world body to abandon the place, activities have gradually resumed at the building, the UN Resident Coordinator, Edward Kallon has disclosed.
Boko Haram insurgents had on August 26, 2011, bombed the UN building in Abuja, through a car bomb explosion, killing at least 21 persons and wounding 60 others.
Kallon, who made the disclosure wednesday in Abuja at an event to commemorate the 73rd Anniversary of the UN Day, described the movement back to the UN House as a demonstration of the shared resilience of the UN and Nigeria against increasing violence and terrorism.
“The 2018 UN Day is a very important day for the UN system in Nigeria as it underscores the excellent cooperation and partnership of the UN and Nigeria over the years.
“Indeed this year’s UN Day also marks the UN family partial move back to the UN House.
“To the UN in Nigeria the UN House is a symbol of the resilience of our extraordinary cooperation and partnership with the Government and people of Nigeria,” he said.
He explained that the UN building built by the federal government was being occupied by the UN agencies since 2005 until the unfortunate bombing.
While he commended the federal government and the people of Nigeria for their commitment to rebuild the UN House, the envoy expressed the hope that the partial movement, which commences with UNDP, UNICEF among others, would inspire the staff to work better.
The Minister of FCT, Mohammed Bello, described the event as significant as it marked the first time of gathering again at the building after the 2011 bombing of the place
“The UN building stands out as the symbol of our resilience and unbroken promises in addressing various challenges we are facing as a nation,” he said.
The minister who was represented by Umar Jubril, an official of the Ministry, congratulated the UN family on the return to the edifice, and assured them of their safety.