Thursday, April 21, 2011

The protests following the elections in Nigeria caused 121 deaths

Lagos .- The riots that broke out in northern Nigeria in protest against the results of Saturday's presidential elections have claimed 121 lives, while hundreds of people were injured and 15,000 have fled their homes, reported Today a local newspaper. The candidate whose defeat sparked violence, retired Army Gen.

Muhammadu Buhari, came to the passage of events Tuesday night condemning the violence. "I have to say that they are despicable acts that were not initiated by our fans and therefore can not be supported by our party," prayed a statement from Buhari's spokesman, Yinka Odumakin. "This is clearly a political issue should not become in any way, in case ethnic, religious or regional," he said.

Buhari, a northern Muslim whose training, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), enjoys broad support in northern Nigeria, lost the election to the current president, Goodluck Jonathan, a southern Christian minority, receiving 12 million votes compared to 22.4 of votes that went to Jonathan.

The CPC rejected these results, claiming they had been manipulated in the electoral regions of South-South and South-East, which are strongholds of Jonathan. The riots in reaction to the results began on Sunday in the states of Bauchi and Gombe, and quickly spread to others in the north, Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, Katsina, Nasarawa Adamwa and where lasting three days.

The National Emergency Management, police and other organs of state have refused to release figures of those killed or maimed in the riots in the north, fearing that could lead to reprisals in the south. However, the northern newspaper "Leadership" reported today that those killed in the violence added 121 and the wounded are estimated at hundreds.

"Leadership", citing "reliable sources", adding that 15,000 people have fled their homes and many of them have sought refuge in police stations or military barracks. The largest number of casualties occurred in the state of Kaduna, where it is feared that some 50 people have died, and the state of Kano, where the dead was estimated at 30, followed by Gombe, with 17 dead, Bauchi, with 16 and Katsina, with eight deaths.

The protesters, mainly young and carrying sticks and machetes, attacked those who were suspected supporters of the ruling People's Democratic Party. In Kaduna, Saint Gerald's Hospital reported that 20 bodies had arrived at its yard, while about 400 patients were treated for wounds suffered at the hands of the mutineers.

Many buildings were torched during riots in Kaduna State, including the private residence of Vice President, Namadi Sambo. In Bauchi, the Commissioner of Police, John Abakasanga, reported that he was burning the headquarters of Independent National Electoral Department. Most of the states of Nigeria are under curfew.

President Jonathan has expressed "great regret" at the violence and appealed to those involved to stop "this behavior unnecessary and avoidable."

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