President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has declared three days of national mourning for former South African President, Nelson Mandela who passed away on Thursday night.
This is in compliance with the directive of the African Union Commission, AUC.
Flags are to be flown at half-mast across Nigeria during the period and Jonathan urged all Nigerians to join the people of South Africa to mourn “the great liberator, freedom fighter and hero of the black race”.
The President also called for special prayers in mosques and churches in Nigeria during the period of mourning for the peaceful repose of Mandela’s soul.
A special inter-denominational memorial service will be held at the State House Chapel on Sunday to mark the end of the three days mourning.
In Addis Ababa, the AUC is planning a special funeral service in honour of the late icon on December 8, in collaboration with the Ethiopian government and the South African Embassy in Ethiopia.
The AUC’s deputy chairperson, Eratus Nwencha, made the announcement, when he addressed a press conference on the demise of Mandela on Friday in Addis Ababa.
Nwencha said the AU was saddened by the news of the death of Africa’s illustrious and transformational leader, adding that he will be remembered as “a symbol for wisdom, for the ability to change and the power of reconciliation.’’
“Today as we mourn his loss, we wish to pay tribute to his life and legacy in Africa, especially his efforts to promote democracy, freedom and equality not only in his home country South Africa, but across Africa and the world,” he said.
Meanwhile, President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma said Mandela would be buried on December 15 at his ancestral home in the Eastern Cape.
Zuma also announced Mandela would be honoured at a December 10 memorial service at Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium, the site of the 2010 World Cup final.
“We will spend the week mourning his passing. We will also spend it celebrating a life well lived,” he said.