News / Africa

Amnesty Warns of Pre-Election Violence in Nigeria

A police officer takes a break under an election billboard in front of the Independent National Electoral Commission office in Abuja, Mar 17 2011
A police officer takes a break under an election billboard in front of the Independent National Electoral Commission office in Abuja, Mar 17 2011

Nigerians go to the polls next month to vote in a new president, but Amnesty International says violence and corruption is threatening to undermine the vote.

The group says Nigeria’s leadership is doing little to stop the violence.

c says, "The Nigerian government is not doing enough to bring people to justice in connection with the violence, and this is creating and fostering a culture of impunity, which is allowing an escalation of violence leading up to April's elections."

In December of last year, around 80 people were killed in a bomb blast in Jos, a city in central Nigeria.

At least 100 more people were killed in Plateau state during months of violence that followed.

And since July of last year, Amnesty says more than 50 political killings have taken place. Earlier this month, a bomb blast killed at least 10 people at a political rally for the ruling party.

Freeman says there has been a clear spike in killings directly related to the elections.

"So we've seen political assassination. We've seen bombs. We've seen fighting between candidate supporters. We've seen attacks on rallies," said Freeman. "We've seen what seems to be an excessive use of lethal force by security officers resulting in children being killed who were just bystanders at a political protest. So it's an extremely worrying level of violence across the country."

The State Security Service said earlier this week that it will help police to protect political parties during the election period.

The Inspector-General of Police in Nigeria, Hafiz Ringim, said the police force is equipped and prepared to make sure the elections are credible and violence-free.

But Amnesty says the leadership in Nigeria has not taken a strong enough stance against violence.

"The government had clear warnings that this was going to happen. There were very violent elections in 2003," said Lucy Freeman. "There were violent elections in 2007, and yet action hasn't been taken to address this. And if we look at the other areas of insecurity, commissions of enquiry, questions asked about how [to] address the problem of security, nothing [has] been acted on."

Incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan will represent the People’s Democratic Party, which has won every presidential vote since 1999, when the country returned to civilian rule.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid