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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid