Nigerian post-election riots kill 'many'

April 20, 2011 - 0:0

KANO, Nigeria (AFP) – A new outbreak of post-poll rioting in northern Nigeria left many dead overnight, the Red Cross said on Tuesday, after President Goodluck Jonathan appealed for unity following his win.

Authorities have not given a death toll for the rioting that began sporadically over the weekend over allegations of vote rigging and quickly spread to some 14 states on Monday. An estimated 15,000 have been displaced.
“Things are relatively calm right now, but violent protests went on last night, especially in Kaduna, Katsina and Zamfara (states),” Umar Abdul Mairiga, the Nigeria Red Cross disaster management coordinator, told AFP.
“What may come out of there is not very palatable because many people were killed, especially in southern Kaduna. The displaced people are getting hostile because nothing is coming up in terms of relief.”
Jonathan, the first president from the southern oil-producing Niger Delta region, was declared winner late Monday of a landmark vote that exposed regional tensions and led to the deadly rioting.
He took 57 percent of the vote in Africa's most populous nation, easily beating his northern rival, ex-military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, who had 31 percent.
Buhari has not spoken publicly of the results, but his party has rejected them and filed a challenge. In brief comments to the BBC's Hausa service on Tuesday, Buhari condemned the rioting.
“I disassociate myself and my party from what happened,” he said.
“I contested elections in 2003 and 2007, but I never resorted to violence. I have no reason to do so this time around. I urge people to remain calm and law-abiding.”
An unspecified number of people were killed Monday in the main northern city of Kano when homes and shops were attacked, and also in Gombe when a home was set ablaze and in Kaduna, where mobs had stopped people on the highway.