From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Staff of the United Nations (UN) in Abuja and families of the 23 victims of the 2011 UN House bombing, yesterday, gathered to honour the departed.
The memorial anniversary which held at the UN House in Abuja, drew emotional speeches and tears from those present at the event.
Worthy of note was a 10-year old Master David Musa, who was present to lay a wreath in honour of his father, late Mr Illya Musa, who until the incident, was a staff of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
In her remarks, wife of the deceased, Mrs Sarah Illya, recalled the incident in 2011 and how she received the unfortunate development.
Mrs Illya revealed that she fainted on receiving the information and was almost delivered of David before his due day since she was unconscious.
“To live without a father in a house is not easy, it is better to have a father figure. He was a very strong and hearty person who loved his children very well. Without him, to take care of all six of the children had not been easy,” Iliya said.
On his part, the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, said it was always a herculean task to speak in honour of his late colleagues.
Kallon added that his strength had been in the promise that the UN will never be cowed by violence, but will always remain committed to serve humanity.
“I lack words to describe those who died in service to humanity.
“Somehow, I have derived strength in the promise that we would refuse to be cowed by violence, remain defiant against terror, and recommit ourselves to supporting the Nigerian people,” Kallon said.
Speaking further, Kallon recalled how in 10 years back, a suicide car bomb went off, killing 23 staff, guards and visitors, while injuring more than 60 others.
“Our hearts bled, it was indeed a dark day for the United Nations. We will remember them forever as truly the best of humanity.
“We will continue to remember the families of the departed and I am so pleased that we are having this ceremony in the same building that was blown apart,” Kallon stated.
Kallon however expressed gratitude to the Federal Government and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration for the resilience demonstrated in rebuilding the UN House.
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