Election Riots: Churches Burnt, Policeman Killed In Niger State
MINNA, April 18, (THEWILL) – As post-presidential election violence razes across major northern states, THEWILL correspondent in Minna, Niger State reports that 5 churches have so far been razed while a policeman has been killed and a Civil Defence Corps member has had his hands cut-off by irate youths in the state who are believed to be supporters of the Congress for Progressive Change, whose candidate lost the Presidential election adjourned by observers to be the freest and fairest election since Nigeria’s independence.
General Buhari came a distant second behind President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Deomcratic Party (PDP) in the yet to be formally declared result by Professor Attahiru Jega of INEC as at press time.
The miscreants who started the violence on Sunday have so far torched several public and private buildings including vehicles.
A Shiyona Baptist Church building located along Kuta Road was saved from arson following the intervention of security forces that nabbed youths with petrol and match boxes who were set to set it ablaze.
Traders of the Sabon Gari district of Minna who were not garbed in Hausa/Fulani attire were attacked and their shops looted and destroyed by irate criminal gangs.
Eyewitnesses told THEWILL that they saw youths mostly underaged burning their voter cards in anger over the outcome of the Presidential poll.
The police in Niger State have confirmed the arrest of many youths and urged those aggrieved to remain calm.
Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu (PDP) has also called for calm and peace.
In a broadcast to residents of the state, he urged them to be thankful to God for the peaceful conduct of the election.
“We should be thankful to God for the peaceful conduct of the elections and we should pray that the peace continues.
“We should also remember that in every contest, there must be a winner and a looser where some people will be happy and some people will not be happy.
“I therefore use this opportunity to appeal to those who feel aggrieved as a result of the outcome of the Presidential election to accept it in good faith bearing in mind that it is God who give power to whomsoever he desires,” the Governor said.
It is however unclear if the youths will heed the governor’s advise as security operatives move in to quell the uprising.