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Nigeria: Kano Election Turns Violent
10 people killed
Bala Muhammad Makosa (babanjawad)     Print Article 
Published 2007-11-20 04:49 (KST)   
On Saturday, northern Nigeria's Kano state local elections turned violent, resulting in the killing of 10 political thugs across the state as clashes erupted in many local government areas.

Most of the polling stations in some local government areas could not open at 8 a.m. as scheduled by the Kano state Independent Electoral Commission, many not opening until after noon.

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The violence began with the supporters of the top opposition party in the state, the People's Democratic Party (PDP), alleging that the ruling All Nigerian People's Party (ANPP) conspired with electoral commission officials to rig the election. Clashes erupted as both side launched attacks and counterattacks.

In Bichi, some 35 kilometers from the state capital, hundreds of youths supporting the PDP took to the streets carrying knifes, daggers, cutlasses and other weapons and chanting slogans against the ruling ANPP. They made a vigorous attempt to set the local government police headquarters ablaze.

They were interrupted, however, by the appearance of the Kano state gubernatorial aspirant, a member of the PDP who was defeated in April.

Meanwhile, more bitter violence continued in Kano city on Sunday, shortly after the state-owned radio began announcing the results, the winning candidates favoring the ruling ANPP. Thousands of PDP youths took the streets again, chanting slogans against Gov. Ibrahim Shekarau, whom they said manipulated the election in favor of his party, the ANPP.

Local government headquarters in Gwale, Tudun Wada and Kunci were set ablaze, while youths blocked major streets in the state capital with burning tires.

At a press conference, Governor Shekarau described the situation as unwanted, saying, "This is a set up of some disgruntle elements in their attempt to seize power from us through all dimensions."

The Kano state police commissioner said his officers would arrest any person found to be involved in this action.

The state of Kano has 44 local governments, and is the first of 36 states to conduct local government elections since April.
©2007 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Bala Muhammad Makosa

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