The UN Resident Coordinator, Edward Kallon, has announced that the UN family has started phased movement back to the UN House in Abuja, seven years after Boko Haram wreaked havoc on it.
LEADERSHIP recalls that the UN building suffered a car bomb explosion on Friday, August 26, 2011 in Abuja which killed at least 21 and wounded 60. Kallon announced the return to the building at the 73rd UN Day celebration yesterday in Abuja. He said, "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's partial move back to the UN House." According to him, the UN House is a symbol of resilience to the UN family and the extraordinary cooperation and partnership with the government and people of Nigeria.
He explained that the UN House, which was built by the federal government, had been occupied by the UN agencies since 2005 until the unfortunate car bombing in August 2011. "The 2011 bombing of the UN House was an attack against those who devoted themselves to serving UN values," he said. Kallon commended the federal government, the Federal Capital Territory minister, Mohammed Bello, and the people of Nigeria for their commitment to rebuilding the UN House. He expressed the hope that the partial movement, which he said would begin with UNDP and UNICEF, among others, would inspire the staff to work better. The FCT minister 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 minister, who was represented by Mr Umar Jubril, an official of the ministry, said the reopening represented not just the fulfillment of efforts to rebuild the UN building, but make it better. "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. While congratulating the UN family on the return to the edifice, he assured them of the FCT's commitment to the security of the lives and property of all staff, their families and the institution.