Election: Riots Spread In The North, Curfew Imposed

INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega (middle), assisted by his PA Abdulahi Usman (right), while Alhaji Nuhu Yakubu, a Commissioner, looks on during the announcements of the presidential election report in Abuja yesterday. Photo: Femi Ipaye.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega (middle),

Governor Ibrahim Yakowa of Kaduna State this morning imposed a curfew on the state, as disgruntled youths sympathetic to Muhammadu Buhari, presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, went on the rampage. Yakowa joined the governor of Gombe state, a neighbouring state, who yesterday also imposed a curfew, following disturbances.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega (middle), assisted by his PA Abdulahi Usman (right), while Alhaji Nuhu Yakubu, a Commissioner, looks on during the announcements of the presidential election report in Abuja yesterday. Photo: Femi Ipaye.

Properties, including churches were destroyed overnight in Kaduna, in the orgy of violence, said to be targeted at PDP leaders. High casualties were feared. The angry supporters of the CPC were said to have attacked the homes and business premises of PDP supporters in such places as Kabala West, Rigasa, Tudun Wada and Angwan Muazu.

Banks, shops and markets were hurriedly closed this morning as the protests spread in the city. A bomb had exploded in a hotel in Kaduna yesterday injuring close to 10 people.

A correspondent of the Chinese news agency, ZINHUA, in the city, reported seeing a fast food joint and several other properties on fire today.

Christian youths  in the ethnically and religiously divided city were also said to begun burning mosques and business premises of Hausas in such places as Narayi High and Low Cost Housing estates, Barnawa and Sabon-Tasha, where the Kaduna Refinery is located. It could not be ascertained at press time how many lives had been lost to the rioting.

Riots were also reported in Sokoto, Gombe and Bauchi. And in Kano, a stampede was also reported, as ‘people ran helter skelter’, following reports of killings in the region. Shops and markets were shut down and there were unconfirmed reports of attacks on people on Zungeru Road, Katsina Road and Bakata.

In Gombe, 10 people were reportedly killed yesterday by suspected supporters of the CPC.

According to ZINHUA, the angry youths attacked the residence of the chairman, of the PDP, in the state, burnt his house and set all the parked cars on fire.The riots started after the announcement of the presidential relection results in the state.

According to reports, the rioters had stormed the  local  office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC protesting against some of the results received from some local government areas in the state.

The youths who attempted to gain entrance to the main building of INEC in Gombe, were prevented by security agents. They  later went on the rampage, destroying vehicles and buildings.

When the situation was brought under control at about two hours later, nine persons were reportedly killed while vehicles and other properties belonging to government were also destroyed.

The CPC’s candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, won in all the restive states, but was unable to attract nationally  enough plural majority or overcome the constitutional hurdle of scoring 25 per cent in 24 states. He made 25 per cent in only 14 states and won about 12 million votes to President Goodluck Jonathan’s  estimated 22.5 million.

All the states in Nigeria’s North-West zones have had history of bloody religious and ethnic violence.

P.M.NEWS investigation revealed that the youths expressed disappointment that their candidate had failed to win the election, alleging  foul play by  the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

In Yola, Adamawa state, in the North east,  tension rose at about 5 p.m yesterday when youths loyal to a particular party barricaded the major roads with expired  and set them on fire. They were protesting the results from certain local government areas.

The situation later went out of  hand when the protesters resorted to burning houses and vehicles. No lives were lost in Adamawa but properties worth millions of naira have been destroyed.

Right now, a dusk to dawn curfew has also been imposed on Adamawa state by Governor Murtala Nyako.

The situation in Adamawa is not different from Taraba. At least three persons have been reportedly killed and properties worth hundreds of millions destroyed in Gassol Local Government area of the state.

The situation went out of hand at about 6 p.m yesterday when some youths loyal to the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, trooped to the streets to express their dissatisfaction while accusing  the PDP of electoral malpractices.

Before the situation could be brought under control two and a half later by the police, all buildings and cars  belonging to prominent PDP members,  including the party’s offices were burnt down.

In Bali Local Government Area of Taraba State, youths loyal to the CPC also went on the rampage and razed down the building and vehicle of the PDP chairman in the local government, Alhaji Dan Zaria.

In Ardo-Kola local government area of the state,  about four vehicles belonging to some noted PDP members in the area were  set ablaze by angry youths loyal to the CPC while houses belonging to PDP members were razed down.

In Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, it took the efforts of combined military and the police over four hours to restore sanity when the angry youths loyal to the CPC went on the rampage to protest the results of the election in some local government areas. The state was won by the CPC.

P.M.NEWS gathered that tens of people were seriously injured while vehicles and building were set ablaze.

Meanwhile, the combined military and mobile police are patrolling the streets of Maiduguri to forestall the escalation of the crisis.

— Ben Adaji/ Jalingo & Madu Nmeribeh/ Kano

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