Nigeria: post-election rioting continues
As post-election violence continues in Nigeria’s northern states following the victory of President Goodluck Jonathan, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has received information of attacks on suburbs in the Gombe State Capital and in the Kafanchan area of Kaduna State, and of continuing tension in Bauchi State.
Nigeria’s presidential elections, which took place on Saturday, are being hailed by international observers as the fairest poll in decades. However, supporters of his opponent, Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), have accused the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of vote rigging and have taken to streets since Saturday evening in what many on the ground feel are orchestrated protests. There has been fighting, burning and rioting in several states, including Gombe, Kaduna and Bauchi.
Attacks are reportedly underway in several suburbs in the Gombe State capital. Yesterday, rioters torched churches, homes and businesses, while security forces struggled to maintain order. At the forefront of the violence were the Almajeris, Islamic students who study at mosques and who are under-age, which deterred the authorities from taking more robust action against the mobs. A local clergyman described the violence as “very well planned,” adding, “It’s breaking out in different parts of the city at the same time. The police are trying to contain it but it is so sporadic. We keep praying. The Lord will carry us safely through this.”