It was a somber and reflective mood on 15 September, when the United Nations system in Nigeria conducted a memorial service to honour the fallen heroes that lost their lives in the August 26 bomb blast of the UN House.
The ceremony took place on the front lawn of the UN house and was attended by senior government officials, diplomats, UN staff and relatives of the victims who converged to pay their last respects to the victims.
One of those who died during the attack was UNODC 's Ingrid Midtgaard, a Norwegian national who made major contributions to issues pertaining to, the fight against corruption, drug trafficking, drug abuse and terrorism.
In his welcome address, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Mohammed Bala, sympathized with the global UN family and the immediate families of the victims over their loss and also with the 129 persons who were injured and were receiving medical treatment in hospitals both in Nigeria and abroad.
The attack was described by the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Daouda Toure, as being against every principle and values of the United Nations. He maintained that "the UN is not defeated nor will its agenda be prevented". Quoting from the tribute of the UN Secretary- General Ban Ki Moon, Mr. Toure noted that the victims were concerned only with helping Nigeria's poor and vulnerable and with supporting the country in addressing its varied challenges.
Confirming the Federal Government's determination to find and bring to justice the perpetrators of the horrid crime, the Representative of the President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Olugbenga Ashiru, reiterated the government's commitment to continue to work with the United Nations as partners for peace, development and progress, and to ensure the immediate rehabilitation of the UN building.
Also present at the memorial service was Governor Aliyu Babangida Muazu of Niger state who represented all the governors of all the 36 states and pledged the determination of the Nigerian Governors Forum to support President Goodluck Jonathan in the fight against terrorism.