Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

New French economy minister signals changes to 35-hour week

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Valls ♥ Business

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

WEB NEWS

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Ukraine calls on NATO amid rebel counter-attack

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Erdogan's inauguration paves way for constitutional change

    Read more

  • Air France suspends flights to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

  • IMF’s Lagarde investigated in French corruption case

    Read more

  • In pictures: The ministers in France's new government

    Read more

Africa

Nigerian local elections postponed due to violence

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-04-21

Two gubernatorial elections slated to take place next week in two states in Nigeria's Muslim north will be postponed by two days in light of recent violence, the head of the country's Independent Election Commission said Thursday.

AP - Nigerian officials on Thursday delayed next week’s gubernatorial elections in two predominantly Muslim northern states that have been wracked by deadly riots and retaliatory violence since the presidential election was won by a Christian from the country’s south.

Attahiru Jega, chief of Nigeria’s Independent Election Commission, said that polls cannot go ahead as scheduled Tuesday in the states of Kaduna and Bauchi because of security concerns, and that the votes will be delayed there by two days.

The announcement came just hours after President Goodluck Jonathan vowed in a televised address to the nation that the elections for state governors would go ahead as scheduled in 31 of Nigeria’s 36 states. Polls in the other five states already had been postponed ahead of the presidential election that sparked deadly violence.

Muslim rioters burned homes, churches and police stations after results showed Nigeria’s Christian president had beaten his closest Muslim opponent in Saturday’s vote. Reprisal attacks by Christians began almost immediately.

Charred corpses bearing machete wounds lay on the highways outside Kaduna. And in Bauchi state, an angry mob set ablaze a lodge where young volunteers were staying, killing at least four of the recent college graduates.

“One way of immortalizing them is to ensure that we complete the remaining election successfully and not to succumb to the designs of people who want to scuttle our collective aspiration for a strong, united and democratic Nigeria,” Jega said.

Authorities have been fearful of releasing casualty figures for fear of sparking more reprisals, but more than 100 have been killed and some 40,000 have fled their homes.

Jega said officials hoped that the delay “will allow further cooling of tempers and for the security situation in those states to continue to improve.”

Nigeria has a long history of violent and rigged polls since it abandoned a revolving door of military rulers and embraced democracy 12 years ago. However, observers largely said Saturday’s presidential election appeared to be fair, and the U.S. State Department said it was a significant improvement over the last poll in 2007.

The nation of 150 million people is divided between the Christian-dominated south and the Muslim north. A dozen states across Nigeria’s north have Islamic Shariah law in place, though the area remains under the control of secular state governments.

Thousands have been killed in religious violence across Nigeria in the past decade. In Kaduna alone, more than 2,000 died as the government moved to enact Islamic Shariah law in 2000. In 2002, rioting over a newspaper article suggesting the Prophet Muhammad would have married a Miss World pageant contestant killed dozens here. But the roots of the sectarian conflict across the north often have more to do with struggles for political and economic dominance.

Many northerners wanted the country’s ruling party to nominate a Muslim candidate this year because Jonathan _ a Christian from the south _ had only taken power because the Muslim elected leader died before finishing his term. However, Jonathan prevailed in the ruling party’s primary and became its candidate for president.
 

Date created : 2011-04-21

  • NIGERIA

    Post-election violence opens old wounds, says Nigerian president

    Read more

  • NIGERIA

    Riots break out in north as Jonathan wins by landslide

    Read more

COMMENT(S)