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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid