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2011 Nigerian Presidential Election

posted by samusaran253 on - last edited - Viewed by 564 users
Please keep all discussions and news regarding the 2011 Nigerian elections in this thread.
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  • samusaran253;490747 said:
    Please keep all discussions and news regarding the 2011 Nigerian elections in this thread.

    I didnt know we had any to warrent a thread to keep them all in.
  • Oh man, and I wanted to talk about the 2011 Nigerian Elections in the Easter thread! Darn it!
  • coolsome;490755 said:
    I didnt know we had any to warrent a thread to keep them all in.
    It's preemptive. No doubt these discussions will start flooding the forum


    Well, soon, anyway.
  • It's actually sort of a big deal.
  • Hmmm. I think you'll be lucky if this thread doesn't get locked. Conversations about the 2011 Nigerian presidential elections get pretty heated.
  • Nigeria rights group says 500 dead in unrest

    More than 500 people were killed in post-election violence last week in the mostly Muslim north, a Nigerian human rights group has said on Sunday, warning of further unrest during upcoming state elections.

    The Civil Rights Congress (CRC) said that more than 500 people were killed on Monday and Tuesday in three towns alone - Zonkwa, Kafanchan and Zangon Kataf - in the southern part of Kaduna state, one of the worst-hit areas.

    Youths launched protests in northern towns and cities after Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the south, was declared the victor of an presidential April 16 election, defeating Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler and northern Muslim.

    Observers and many Nigerians say the vote was the most credible in Africa's most populous nation for decades and world leaders have congratulated Jonathan.

    But Buhari says the count was rigged and his supporters have refused to accept defeat.

    "The victims were encircled, raided and hacked to death and their homes burned," Shehu Sani, the CRC president, said in a report on Sunday based on testimony from the group's members in the communities.

    Churches, mosques, homes and shops were set ablaze in the violence, which has left more than 40,000 people displaced.

    Although a military-enforced curfew brought the violence under control in major cities after little more than a day, soldiers took longer to deploy to more remote towns.

    Sani said the CRC, which is based in Kaduna, confirmed 316 dead in Zonkwa, 147 in Zangon Kataf and 83 in Kafanchan.

    "Soldiers did not get there until afterwards," he said.

    Upcoming election

    A tally of figures from Red Cross officials, health workers and witnesses who visited morgues showed the toll was at least 130.

    But that was only in a few major towns and cities, excluding those mentioned in the CRC report.

    Nigeria is home to more than 250 ethnic groups, most of whom live peacefully side by side.

    The majority of the Muslim population live in the north while the south is predominantly Christian, although sizeable minorities live in both regions.

    Jonathan and Buhari have condemned the unrest, but fiercely contested governorship elections are due in most of Nigeria's states on Tuesday.

    There are fears of further violence where there are close races between the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) and Buhari's Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).
  • DAISHI;490776 said:
    It's actually sort of a big deal.
    Indeed. It's rare when African countries have truly democratic elections.
  • Nigeria riots delay two state polls
    Elections for the governors of two states in Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north have been postponed because of violence, officials have announced.

    The region has been hit by days of deadly violence since Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the south, won Saturday's presidential election. At least 200 people have been killed and several thousand injured in riots in northern areas.

    The electoral commission said that the poll on Tuesday would not go ahead in Bauchi and Kaduna states, because of security concerns. The announcement came just hours after Jonathan vowed in a televised address to the nation that the elections for state governors would go ahead, as order was being restored to the nation.

    "My fellow countrymen and women, enough is enough," Jonathan said in a televised address to the nation, on Thursday. "Democracy is about the rule of law."

    "These disturbances are more than mere political protests. Clearly they aim to frustrate the remaining elections. This is not acceptable."

    "These acts of mayhem are sad reminders of the events which plunged our country into 30 months of an unfortunate civil war," he said, referring to killings that led to a conflict in which one million people were killed in the 1960s.

    Jonathan said security services would deal "decisively" with any further unrest.

    "I assure you all that calm is being restored in troubled parts of the country and that the elections scheduled for next Tuesday will go on as planned."

    Displaced by violence

    Rioting erupted in major northern cities after incumbent Jonathan, who heads the People's Democratic Party (PDP), was declared winner of the presidential poll with 57 per cent of the ballots, easily beating his rival, Muhammadu Buhari, with 31 per cent.

    An estimated 40,000 people have been displaced in the violence in the country's mostly-Muslim north.

    A Nigerian civil rights group based in the northern state of Kaduna put the number of deaths in the unrest at more than 200 across the north, after rioting broke out on Sunday.

    "In the whole region, from reports reaching Civil Rights Congress, the death toll is over 200," Shehu Sani, the head of the organisation, told the AFP news agency.

    There were reports of fresh clashes in an area of Kaduna overnight, with a community leader telling local radio "the killing was unbelievable and the destruction is colossal".

    Analysts have said that the upcoming governorship elections could hold the most risk of violence. Governors have significant power in Nigeria, granted huge budgets due in part to oil revenue.

    Violence 'spontaneous'

    Jonathan's election rival Buhari, a northerner, has alleged irregularities in the presidential vote.

    He said people just "reacted to the results" and said he did not know what triggered the violence.

    "It was so spontaneous that I didn't know about it. I did not ask them to start it, but I asked them to stop, especially the burning of churches and other religious places."

    Buhari, a former military ruler, also denied instigating the deadly violence in the north but blamed it on what he called a rigged election.

    Observers have largely said that Saturday's presidential election appeared to be fair, and was a significant improvement over last elections 2007.

    'Total lockdown'

    Al Jazeera's Yvonne Ndege, reporting from Kaduna - which has been hit by some of the worst violence, said the violence seems to have been based along religious lines.

    "There are Muslims here, there are Christians here. There are those out there who are prepared to use religion to target opponents," she said.

    "What is underneath all of this is the feeling and the sense that the president should not have run in the 2011 race because of an informal agreement that says the North is supposed to produce the next president.

    "It's not just the presidential race - 10 days ago we had parliamentary elections and in a week's time we've got governorship elections. We've seen all candidates exploit religious difference, ethnic difference, tribalism, youth party organisation, rigging to win votes.

    "Even now in Kaduna state we are getting reports - we're inundated in fact with eyewitness accounts - of people barricaded in their homes for fear of going out and being caught up in the mayhem."

    Nigeria, a nation of 150 million people, is roughly 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.
  • I just find it sad that religion and economic circumstances are being used as manipulation points
  • Ugly violence after Nigeria's election

    I was having dinner with two Nigerian friends in Lagos, just days before the recent presidential elections. One friend comes from the north of the country, the other from the south.

    "There’s an ugly truth to this election campaign, which no-one is talking about," said the northerner.

    “In the south, they won’t vote for Muhammadu Buhari simply because they don’t want to give power back to the north. That’s all there is to it. We will vote along regional lines”, she explained.

    The southerner protested, insisting that he had no time for regional prejudice. He had chosen to support Goodluck Jonathan, whom he insisted was “the best of a weak list”.

    In Nigeria, your political perspective is still, above all, defined by which part of the country you’re from. In the south, many people believe that Jonathan’s victory derived from the cleanest and fairest election Nigeria has ever held.

    But try telling that to the angry mobs rampaging through Kano and Kaduna. Regardless of whether there was widespread fraud on election day, as alleged by the losing camp, and denied by the winners, (I’ll leave that assessment to the election observers and the courts), it’s hard to define the whole electoral process as a success when it has caused so much death and destruction.

    This is a large and complex country, and it is difficult to generalise. Across Nigeria, most people of different faiths and ethnicities live together in peace, and have done so for generations.

    Here in Lagos, for example, Yoruba families happily share Christian and Muslim identities without a hint of friction, in a way that puts parts of the Middle East and Europe to shame.

    But it’s also true that anyone who travels around Nigeria, and is curious enough to garner opinions, will soon hear widespread prejudices about people from other regions.

    If I had an English pound, or even a Nigerian naira, for every time I’ve been told that “The northerners are all …[add your own unflattering adjectives]..”, or, “we can’t trust the southerners because they are all [ditto]” , I would be a very rich man.

    There is a sickening familiarity to what is now unfolding in the northern cities. When I lived here, I saw the same scenes in 1999 and 2000 in Kano, Kaduna, but also in southern cities like Sagamu and Aba. And, of course, those with longer memories, will remember the massacres of 1966.

    President Jonathan, to his credit, had the courage to draw that link himself, saying these “acts of mayhem are sad reminders” of “an unfortunate civil war [that] as a nation we are yet to come to terms with”.

    These events are so sad because they help to unpick the fabric of Nigeria as a nation.

    Take the city of Kaduna, for example. Before the dreadful Sharia riots of 2000, different religions and ethnic groups shared neighbourhoods. But after all the violence and killing, those mixed neighbourhoods have unravelled, and Kaduna is now a city largely divided between respective Muslim and Christian halves.

    Another example; Nigeria has a compulsory youth service, the National Youth Service Corps. Established in the aftermath of the civil war, the NYSC is intended to foster a sense of nationhood.

    The theory is commendable; young people out of university are sent to different parts of the country to meet other Nigerians and gain useful work experience.

    But in this election campaign many young “Corpers”, enlisted to help in the voting process, have been targeted and attacked, and several have been killed.

    In practice, many Nigerians are now extremely nervous about their children serving in other parts of the country, and those with political or financial influence often do their best to ensure this does not happen.

    Friends in the north tell me that this week’s violence started with attacks against political leaders and traditional rulers, and later developed into ethnic and religious clashes. And it is the Nigerian elites, (of course not just in the north), who have a lot to answer for.

    For decades they have enriched themselves, whilst an ever-growing army of unemployed young people struggles to survive. Worse, some leaders have used ethnicity and religious identity when it suits them, cynically unleashing a monster they cannot control.

    President Jonathan can be under no illusions about the scale of the task before him. In parts of the south, particularly in the Niger Delta, he is seen as a messiah, who will suddenly deliver a rapid improvement in living standards.

    In parts of the north, he is viewed with suspicion, by a region that believes it has been robbed of power.

    Of course, Nigeria has a long-proven ability to pull back from the brink, and stumble on.

    But the events of the past few days show that the country is desperately in need of a new kind of leadership.

    Over to you, Jonathan.
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