News / Africa

Nigerian President Calls Out More Security Forces

Policeman stand guard as suspected rioters await a court hearing in Kaduna, Nigeria, April 20, 2011
Policeman stand guard as suspected rioters await a court hearing in Kaduna, Nigeria, April 20, 2011

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is calling out more security forces to stop rioting that has followed his election. The president's leading challenger says that vote was rigged.

President Jonathan says calm is being restored to troubled parts of northern Nigeria where political violence is displacing thousands of civilians. He says Tuesday's last round of voting for statewide office holders will proceed as scheduled - with stepped-up security.

"I've ordered the deployment of security personnel to troubled parts of the country," he said. "I have also directed the reinforcement of security in all parts of the country. I have authorized our security services to deal with all acts of violence against our fellow citizens, decisively."

The latest unrest began Sunday when Muslim supporters of defeated presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari attacked churches, homes and police stations in northern states, sparking reprisal attacks by Christians.

Buhari says President Jonathan's election was rigged, through electoral commission computers. Independent observers say it was largely free and fair.

Buhari is condemning the violence and is urging his supporters to be patient while he challenges the results in court. He, too, wants voters to come out for the statewide elections, saying it would grievous mistake for his supporters to destroy their voters' cards in frustration.

"I  urge you to preserve and safeguard your cards and come out en masse on Tuesday to vote out and disgrace your oppressors who have stolen your votes," said Buhari. "If you don't do this, it is to be feared that all your efforts will have been in vain."

In a nationwide address, President Jonathan said there will be a judicial commission of inquiry into what he calls "dastardly acts of violence" that recall the days before Nigeria's Biafran civil war, in the late 1960's.

"We are shocked by these horrific acts which strike at the heart of the nation," said Jonathan. "These disturbances are more than mere political protest. Clearly, they aim to frustrate the remaining elections. This is not acceptable. If anything at all, these acts of mayhem are sad reminders of the events which plunged our country into 30 months of an unfortunate civil war."

Jonathan also recalled a 1993 vote that was annulled by military rulers, saying that brought Nigeria to the brink and it is inconceivable that some people are now trying to re-enact that political stalemate.

"I call on our religious leaders not to use the sacredness of our places of worship to promote messages that could lead to hate, disharmony, and disaffection," he said.

The Red Cross says post-election unrest has wounded 410 people and displaced 40,000 others. Media reports say up to 50 people may have died in the violence, although government officials and aid agencies are declining to release casualty figures for fear they might prompt more reprisal attacks.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs