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New York Consulate holds memorial for Nigerian COVID-19 victims 


Coronavirus victim's remembrance in NY

It was a solemn gathering in New York as the Consulate-General of Nigeria on Saturday held a remembrance ceremony to honour the memory of Nigerians who died from COVID-19 within its jurisdiction.

The event drew Nigerians from all walks of life including UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, other Nigerian envoys, community leaders, and families, friends and associates of the victims.

Some Nigerians, who converged at the Nigeria House venue of the event and those who joined by virtual all thanked the Consulate for the initiative.

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They also encouraged Nigerians who had not been vaccinated to do so and to raise their voices to encourage others to be vaccinated to prevent the spread of the virus.

In her keynote address, UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, urged people to raise their voices against COVID-19, noting that vaccine is the surest way to be protected.

Mohammed said that the remembrance ceremony was in line with tradition and culture of honouring the memories of the departed.

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The Nigerian envoy, commended the Nigerian Government for evacuating some Nigerians who were stranded during the lockdown back home.

In his remarks, the Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, Amb. Lot Egopija, said COVID-19 pandemic led to so many deaths and suspension of socio-economic activities globally.

Egopija said the purpose of the remembrance ceremony was to identify with Nigerians, who lost their loved ones to the pandemic, in line with the tradition of honouring the dead.

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He encouraged Nigerians yet to be vaccinated to do so, saying, “the New York City authority had provided a mobile vaccination van outside the Nigeria House to vaccinate interested Nigerians.

“They have also offered to provide safe services to various Nigeria communities on mutually agreed days,’’ he said.

The highpoint of the event was the unveiling of the Memorial Plaque by the Deputy Secretary-General and the Consul-General, while Muslim and Christian prayers were offered for the souls of the departed.