News / Africa

Nigerian Probe into Electoral Killing Aims to Prevent Future Violence

Soldiers stand guard outside the polling station during gubernatorial elections, Kaduna, April 28, 2011
Soldiers stand guard outside the polling station during gubernatorial elections, Kaduna, April 28, 2011

The head of Nigeria's panel investigating last month's electoral violence says uncovering the causes of that killing will help prevent future unrest.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan appointed the 22-member panel to determine what led to last month's killing and how to prevent such violence in the future.

Panel chairman Sheikh Ahmed Lemu says the group has no illusions as to the enormity of their task and their responsibility to the nation.

“Our findings and recommendations in the course of this assignment, diligently applied, will go a long way in eradicating these seemingly-intractable acts of self-inflicted violence, Inshallah,” he said.

A Nigerian civil rights group says at least 500 people were killed in fighting between Muslims and Christians when supporters of opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim, rioted after Jonathan, a Christian, was declared the winner.

President Jonathan has sought to strike a religious balance in an investigation that he says will be carried out by Nigerians of unquestionable integrity, patriotism and commitment to justice. While Islamic scholar Lemu is the head, his vice chairman is the former supreme court justice Samson Uwaifo, a Christian.

Lemu says the panel starts its work at a time of great national distress.

“We are quite appreciative of the great responsibility the current circumstances impose on the federal government, particularly in terms of taking adequate steps to determine and inform the citizenry as well as our international development partners of how these events came about and where those whose culpability is proven therein to stand vis-a-vis our laws,” he said.

Lemu says it is particularly troubling that this violence occurred around a general election that was widely acclaimed by both local and international monitors to have been the most transparent in Nigerian history.

“Once again," he said, "the Nigerian nation is confronted with a series of tragic and traumatic events occasioning great distress to many families in different parts of the country. These acts of violence, wonton carnage, and mindless destruction of property are all the more disheartening because they were acts inflicted upon the nation by none other than Nigerians.”

Buhari has distanced himself from the violence carried out by his supporters. But his party is challenging President Jonathan's election in court, alleging that the outcome was rigged by electoral commission computers that both increased Jonathan's vote totals in southern states and decreased Buhari's vote totals in northern states.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid