200 killed in Nigeria post election violence

Abuja: At least 200 people have been killed and thousands displaced in post-election violence in Nigeria, a civil rights group said today, as the loosing Muslim candidate General Muhammadu Buhari alleged rigging.

Buhari also vowed in a statement seen by PTI to recover "a stolen mandate" a declaration interpreted by analysts to mean that the former military dictator may be going to court to challenge the outcome of the election.

The violence erupted close on the heels of incumbent Goodluck Jonathan emerging victorious in Presidential polls.

Civil Rights Congress (CRC) in an emailed statement here signed by its president, Shehu Sani said his members and staff were able to arrive at the figure rigorously despite restriction of movement in northern Nigeria.

The CRC put the death toll in post-election violence at 200. It said the number of arrests by the military in Kaduna town alone was 1,000 just as a curfew of 24 hours which has been relaxed a little bit was put in place.

Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in northern Bauchi state said 32 of its members and 82 churches were burnt in the state alone.

Buhari in his statement had told his supporters: "May I use this opportunity to inform you that we have commenced consultations at the highest levels to recover your stolen mandate. I would therefore urge you to continue to be patient."

He alleged that the rigging of the election was done through computer manipulations. He told his followers it is wrong to allow miscreants infiltrate their ranks and destroy worship places.

"Needless to say this act is worse than the rigging of the elections." he said.

People protesting the victory of Jonathan burnt homes, churches and police stations. Anti-riot policemen and the military were deployed in the streets following rioting.

Riots broke out in the north after Jonathan, a Christian from the south was declared winner on Monday of a landmark vote that exposed regional tensions and led to the deadly rioting.

Jonathan secured 59 per cent of the vote and easily beat his northern rival, ex-military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, who had only 32 per cent. More than 50 people have been killed with many wounded in rioting in states of Kaduna, Bauchi, Yobe, Niger, Borno, Jigawa, and Nasarawa, eyewitnesses and hospital sources told PTI.

An estimated 25,000 have been displaced and some 375 wounded, according to the Red Cross.

24-hours curfew was imposed in Kaduna and Kano while limited restrictions of movement were enforced in the remaining states as Buhari`s supporters took to the street violently protesting the results of the elections.ng