Jonathan in Paris, declares three days of national mourning for Mandela

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Paris – President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday arrived in Paris, France, to join other world leaders that are participating in a summit on peace and security in Africa.

Also the President has declared three days of national mourning for former South African President, Dr. Nelson Mandela who passed away yesterday.

Flags are to be flown at half-mast across Nigeria during the period and President Jonathan urges all Nigerians to unite in solidarity with the brotherly people of South Africa as they mourn the great liberator, freedom fighter and hero of the black race.

The President also calls for special prayers in mosques and churches in Nigeria during the period of mourning which begins today, for the peaceful repose of Dr. Mandela’s soul.

A special inter-denominational memorial service for Dr. Mandela will be held at the State House Chapel on Sunday.

The president and his entourage arrived at a Military Airforce Base in Paris at about 10.30 a.m.

Jonathan was accompanied by the First Lady, Dame Patience and some Presidential Aides.

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

He was received at the airport by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Nurudeen Mohammed, and the Nigerian Ambassador to France, Mr Hakeem Suleiman.

No fewer than 50 Heads of State and Government are participating in the Elysee Palace Summit being hosted by President Francois Hollande of France.

The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, heads of European institutions and leaders of Africa’s sub-regional and continental organisations such as the AU and ECOWAS are also participating in the summit.

The summit is scheduled to discuss peace and security in Africa, economic partnership, sustainable development and climate change.

Hollande and Mrs Valerie Trierweiler are billed to host all heads of delegation to the summit and their spouses to a state dinner.

Nigeria’s first lady Patiece will participate in an advocacy meeting on sexual violence against women in conflict to be hosted by Trierweiler at the Orsay Museum in Paris.

It will be recalled that the president and the first lady had on Tuesday left Abuja for Paris, but had a stopover in Germany for a private visit. (NAN)

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