Two days of prayer marked the 68th birthday of President Felix Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast.
Two days of prayer marked the 68th birthday of President Felix Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast. The prayers cams as an apparent retort to Guinea's President, Ahmed sakou Toure's call on Ivory Coast people to curse their President, and prepare his assassination.
President Houphouet-Boigny, was born in the town of Yamoussoukro, and it was there that the nation focused its attention. Services in the President's hometown were led by Mr Hamami Diori, the President of Niger. Mr. Diori arrived in Abidjan on Wednesday (17 October) with his wife and a 16-member delegation. When he arrived in Yamoussoukro on Thursday (18 October), President Diori was welcomed by Mr. Mathieu Ekra, the Ivory Coast's Minister of Tourism.
But the man who the centre of the celebrations and prayers was not in the Ivory Coast to attend the events. President Houphouet-Boighy was on board the SS France, an route for Le Havne in France form New York after a two-week private visit to the united States.
Celebrations in Yamoussoukro began with an address by the President of the Niger National Assembly, Mr Boubou Hama. Following the address, there were services in various religious centres.
Speaking at an airport news conference on his arrival, President Diori noted the profound friendship between the peoples of Niger and the Ivory Coast. He mentioned that the celebrations not only marked President Houphouet-Boigny's 68th birthday, but also the 27th anniversary of the African Democratic Rally, the political party which President Houphcuet-Boigny founded in 1946.
There were also other services in Catholic and Protestant churches and mosques throughout the country.
SYNOPSIS: The Ivory Coast celebrated the sixty-eighth birthday of President Houphouet Boigny last week with two days of prayers and religious services.
The town of Yamouesoukro, the President's birthplace, was the centre of the nation's celebrations. It was the first time prayers had been said to mark the President's birthday. They were an apparent retort to President Toure of Guinea's call to the people of the Ivory Coast to "curse their President and prepare his assassination."
However President Diori of the Nager attended the celebrations in Yamoussoukro, along with ministers form other African countries.
Services were held in churches and mosques throughout the Ivory Coast. The services in Yamoussoukro began on Thursday evening, after and address by the President of the Niger National Assembly, Bougou Hama. When President Diori arrived in the country he spoke of the close friendship that existed between the Niger and the Ivory Coast, and noted that the country was not only celebrating the birthday of President Houphouet-Boigny but the twenty-seventh anniversary of the foundation of the African Democratic Rally, the political party the President founded in 1946.
President Houphouet-Boigny was unable to attend any of his birthday ceremonies, he was an route to France after a two week visit to the U.S.A
Citizens form all walks of life had been invited to attend the services in Yamoussoukro. The invitation was made in a official government communique, and representatives of the various religious sects in the Ivory Coast were asked to make their contribution to the celebrations.
Of the many services held throughout the Ivory Coast, most of the visitors attended prayers in the Mosque at Yamoussoukro.
Among the faithful at prayer, President Diori and members of his party.
Auaiting President Houphouet-Boigny on his return were greetings form several African and world leaders, congratulating him on his sixty-eight birthday.