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Jonathan Calls for End to Post-Election Violence in Nigeria

Published on Tuesday 19th April 2011

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has called for an end to violence in the country's mainly Muslim north following his presidential election victory.In a speech late Monday, Jonathan urged national unity and said no one's political ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian.The Red Cross says many people were killed and thousands displaced Monday as riots broke out in the north to protest the election outcome.Opposition supporters claimed the vote was rigged and they set fire to homes burned tires and hurled rocks at police.  Officials say Jonathan received more than 22 million ( 22,495,187) votes in Saturday's polls, nearly twice the number of his main challenger, former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, who garnered about 12 million (12,214,853) votes. Jonathan won enough support to avoid a run-off, taking 57 percent of the votes cast.  None of the country's opposition parties signed on to the final election results and Buhari’s party filed a formal challenge. Many in the Muslim-majority north backed Buhari, a Muslim.  President Jonathan, a Christian, dominated the results in the mostly Christian south.A 24-hour curfew was imposed in Kaduna state, where angry rioters clashed with police and set homes on fire in the cities of Kaduna and Zaria.  In the capital of Kano state (the city of Kano), security forces fired shots into the air as stone-throwing youths took to the streets and chanted support for  Buhari.Observers have said Saturday's vote proceeded calmly, with few instances of cheating.President Jonathan has promised to improve the country's economy, health and education. He assumed the presidency last year following the death of his predecessor, Umaru Yar'Adua.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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