Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Riots break out in Nigeria's Muslim north as President Goodluck Jonathan gains over Muslim opponentelection victory

The man is named Good-Luck!!
The north's argument was that they should have a Muslims leader ~ but that is not how elections work.

KANO, Nigeria, April 19 (Reuters) - Soldiers patrolled the streets in Nigeria's mostly Muslim north on Tuesday and aid workers began to assess the toll from deadly rioting against President Goodluck Jonathan's election victory.

The Red Cross said many people were killed, hundreds injured and thousands displaced in protests across northern Nigeria on Monday by supporters of Jonathan's northern rival, former army ruler Muhammadu Buhari, who say the election result was rigged.

Churches, homes and shops were razed.

Rescue workers said they had been unable to reach the worst-affected neighbourhoods and could not yet give a death toll, although a curfew imposed across at least five states appeared to have been relaxed to allow some movement.

"Most of central Kano is calming down but we have not yet reached some areas," said Musa Abdullahi of the Red Cross.

A few residents ventured on foot onto the streets of Kano, the most populous city in the north, and of Kaduna. There were hardly any vehicles on the roads.

Christian residents of the two cities who fled to military and police barracks to shelter during the unrest blamed Buhari, whose party has refused to accept election results which say Jonathan won Saturday's election with 59 percent of the vote.

"How can he allege rigging. Jonathan won across the nation. They should accept the results rather than killing and destroying people and property," said Olaoye Ade, who fled with his wife and children to a police barracks in Kano.

"I am here with my family in the barracks instead of celebrating the nation's new-found democracy."

The election results show how polarised the country of 150 million is, with Buhari, 68, sweeping the north and Jonathan, 53, winning the largely Christian south.

Observers have called the poll the fairest in decades in Africa's most populous nation, which has a long history of votes marred by fraud and intimidation.

Diplomats, analysts and ruling party supporters criticised the former general, who has strong grass roots support in the north, for failing to come out clearly to call for calm and condemn the violence being perpetrated in his name.

"He has not asked anyone to engage in any violent conduct. He had the capacity to call people out and he didn't. He understands that people feel cheated," Buhari's spokesman Yinka Odumakin told Reuters.

"People are angry because they saw the results at the polling stations and saw different results announced in Abuja."

Jonathan appealed for unity in an acceptance speech broadcast to the nation on Monday, saying the nation must "quickly move away from partisan battlegrounds".

Security analysts said they believed the curfews and a show of military force in the north should contain the violence for now but feared that governorship elections in the 36 states in a week's time could become another flashpoint.

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