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Religious Violence Resumes In Nigeria's Anambra State


Sporadic religious violence has continued around Nigeria’s southeastern city of Onitsha, in Anambra State. Violence first broke out last Saturday during Muslim protests in the north against cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad that appeared in a Danish newspaper. Anambra State governor Chris Ngige told English to Africa reporter Ashenafi Abedje the situation in Onitsha remains “very tense” after yesterday’s unrest, in which many people were killed. In response, state officials imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Onitsha and the surrounding area.

Governor Ngige says the curfew has been effective during the night hours for which it was designed. He says the latest violence took place around noon Wednesday, instigated by what he calls “hoodlums and never-doers.” He says security officers then took appropriate measures to restore peace in the city.

Meanwhile, public hearings are underway regarding possible constitutional changes, including one that would allow President Olusegun Obasanjo to run for a third term. Governor Ngige says he stands firmly with the people of Anambra state, who he says strongly oppose any tampering with the constitution. He says two terms are enough time for a president or governor to do tangible work for his or her constituents.

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