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
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid