•Ms Akinjide (left) and Ms Clark laying wreaths in honour of dead UN workers in Abuja…yesterday
Oct 5, 2011 – The Federal Government is awaiting the result of an integrity test on the bombed United Nations building in Abuja to determine whether to pull it down and rebuild or effect repairs only.
This was announced yesterday by the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide while speaking with reporters after inspecting what remains of the building, and witnessing the laying of wreath by the visiting UNDP Administrator, Ms. Helen Clark.
She said: “As for this building, it is up to experts to tell us whether the building has integrity and, in any event, we now need to look at a redesign to take account of security implications and you will be briefed as things progress once a decision is made as to what to do with the building.
“But all you need to know for now is that Nigerian government is committed to rebuilding and getting the UN back into their own facilities as quickly as possible. Security now is the number one on the agenda, nationally at the states and local government levels.”
“And we are working as a Federal Capital Territory that hosts all the agencies, embassies and high commissions, multilateral institutions and the Nigerian and state governments to ensure that everybody is protected. It is something we are doing in partnership with the Federal Government and all the security agencies. You can be sure that security is not something that we are taking lightly. This is something that has unfortunately happened in many different countries, worldwide. Our work is to ensure it doesn’t occur again.”
After laying the wreath in honour of the 23 that died from the blast, Ms. Clark said: “I have been very shocked by what I have seen. It is a very terrible attack and very sad news indeed.”
“The UN, of course, would re-evaluate the security needs that we have here. We also in the short term, have to find some accommodation where our people can come to work together because some of the work places have been destroyed and the people have been scattered. We are working on a medium term solution and long term solution with respect to rebuilding for the UN.
“We want to be back here and we are committed to be in Nigeria and working in support of Nigeria and its people. We have to re evaluate security, so we must ensure that we do it safely. The government of Nigeria has been absolutely tremendous in the support it is giving the UN from the beginning of the news; total co-operation and support and also working with us very hard to find solution for the short term, medium and long terms. Nigeria wants us here and wants us strong.”
Julius Berger workers were seen working on the premises of the building yesterday. The Nation