Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nigeria Violence Won’t Halt Final Election Round, President Jonathan Says

Violent clashes that followed Nigeria's presidential election won't delay the final round of voting set for April 26, President Goodluck Jonathan said.

Voters should "go about their businesses without fear and exercise their franchise" in the election for state governors and legislatures, the third ballot in a monthlong electoral process, Jonathan, who won the April 16 presidential vote, said in an e-mailed statement.

At least 153 people died in riots across northern Nigeria by supporters of opposition presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari, who lost to Jonathan, according to the Kaduna-based Civil Rights Congress. Another 39,000 residents have been displaced and 410 people injured, according to the Nigerian Red Cross.

Jonathan blamed "miscreants" for the violence that he said targeted government offices, traditional institutions, travellers and youth in Africa's most populous nation. "These disturbances are more than mere political protests," he said. "Clearly they aim to frustrate the remaining elections."


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