Violence breaks out in Nigeria after presidential elections

(April 19, 2011)

VIOLENCE HAS broken out in northern Nigeria after Goodluck Jonathan was elected president yesterday (April 18)


Supporters of President Jonathan, the incumbent, were targeted in the cities of Kano and Kaduna.


Mr Jonathan took 21 of the country's 36 states.


Independent National Electoral Commission statistics show he has won the states with a total of 22.5 million votes, after tens of millions of Nigerians went to the polls on Saturday.


His main rival, former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, won only 12 states with 8.7 million votes.


Mr Jonathan, 53, a candidate from People's Democratic Party (PDP), became president last year after the death of Umaru Yar'Adua.


Since 1999 a member of the PDP has won every presidential election, causing people to question the legitimacy of the contest.


But President Jonathan made assurances to the public that the ruling party would not try to fix the elections.


When asked about the violence the president reminded everyone about the importance of staying civil.


He said: "No-one's political ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian"


Authorities said the elections went well but there were some reports of stolen ballot boxes.


The head of the African Union observer team in Nigeria, former Ghanaian President John Kufuor, had praised Nigerians for the way they conducted the vote.


A curfew has been declared in some cities to quell the violence

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