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Monday, April 18, 2011

Protests Erupt in Northern Nigeria

Violent protests erupted across Nigeria's largely Muslim north on Monday as youths angered at President Goodluck Jonathan's election victory torched churches and homes and set up burning barricades. The vote count showed Jonathan, from the southern oil-producing Niger Delta, had beaten Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler from the north, in the first round.
Observers have called the poll the fairest in decades in Africa's most populous nation but Buhari's supporters accuse the ruling party of rigging. Results show how politically polarised the country is, with Buhari sweeping states in the Muslim north and Jonathan winning the largely Christian south.Authorities in the northern state of Kaduna imposed a 24-hour curfew after protesters set fire to the residence of Vice President Namadi Sambo in the town of Zaria and forced their way into the central prison, releasing inmates.
Buhari's camp -- which had urged its supporters throughout the campaign to make sure their votes counted -- said some results looked suspicious, especially where turnout had been exceptionally high in some of Jonathan's strongholds.
Buhari, who also lost elections in the year 2003 and 2007, has repeatedly said Nigerians would not accept another rigged vote.

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