SomaliPress.com

Polling Underway in Nigeria

Published on Tuesday 26th April 2011

Voting is underway in Nigeria after last week's presidential election touched off rioting in some northern states. Nigerian voters were accredited at polling stations Tuesday before casting their ballots for statewide offices.It is the third and final round of voting in nationwide elections to choose lawmakers and a president.Goodluck Jonathan was elected president in a vote last week, after which supporters of opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari attacked churches, homes and police stations, sparking reprisal attacks by Christians.The human rights group the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria says at least 500 people were killed in that violence.Buhari says President Jonathan's election was rigged and that he intends to challenge the result in court.Police say Easter Sunday bomb blasts in Maiduguri were the work of the Islamic group Boko Haram, which has been fighting for the past two years to establish an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.The group is attacking police and religious leaders because it says they wrongly associate with a federal government that it is trying to sabotage Islam.President Jonathan has increased security ahead of Tuesday's elections for Nigeria's powerful state governors.Voting in the northern states, Kaduna and Bauchi, has been delayed until Thursday.  Electoral commission Chief Attahiru Jega says he hopes that will allow for the "further cooling of tempers" and for the security situation in those states to continue to improve.

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