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Nigeria: Kano State Chairmen Sworn-In
Police patrol streets of the capitol to prevent violence
Bala Muhammad Makosa (babanjawad)     Print Article 
Published 2007-12-05 09:23 (KST)   
Hundreds of armed police officers and soldiers were deployed on the streets of Kano, the capital of Nigeria's northern Kano state, on Tuesday to curtail a possible reaction to the swearing in of 44 local government chairmen elected on Nov. 17.

The swearing in ceremony was conducted by state governor Ibrahim Shekarau.

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Fear of a mishap increased on Monday when the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) announced a willingness to halt the ceremony through violence. At PDP headquarters, thousands of supporters assembled to listen to words of courage from PDP stakeholders in Kano, led by the state's first civilian governor, Alhaji Abubakar Rimi. At the meeting, Rimi urged supporters to be ready to face any aggression from the ruling All Nigerian People's Party (ANPP).

The PDP alleges that the Nov. 17 election was rigged in favor of the ANPP, as engineered by Shekarau.

"We won all 44 local government [races] in Kano state during the Nov.17 election, but ANPP rigged it in [their] favor. We cannot bear this; we must regain our seats," said Rimi.

PDP supporters cheered at his words: "We support you; we must fight for our right."

Also on Monday, the ruling ANPP held a stakeholders meeting, under the leadership of Shekarau, assuring supporters that the swearing in would take place no matter what happened.

The Kano state commissioner of police said that it would not condone any act of violence by supporters from any political party.

The swearing in ceremony took place without incident at Sani Abacha Stadium, Kofar Mata. Few people attended, besides the candidates and officials, preferring to stay at home for fear of what might happen.
©2007 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Bala Muhammad Makosa

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