At Least 400 Dead in Nigerian Elections

The BBC has video (HERE) of the violent elections in Nigeria.

The leading monitoring group is calling for the election to be scrapped and held again.

Nigerians line up to cast their vote in Katsina, Nigeria, Saturday, April 21, 2007. The electoral commission head declared polls officially open Saturday in Nigeria’s presidential elections and said a failed truck bombing aimed at his headquarters wouldn’t halt the vote meant to cement civilian rule. (AP Photo/George Osodi)

At least 400 people were killed in the latest round of elections in oil rich Nigeria.
The Times Online reported:

A FAILED attempt to blow up the headquarters of the electoral commission, violent scenes in the run-up to the vote that left at least 400 dead and the late delivery of ballot papers cast a dark shadow over Nigeria’s presidential election yesterday.

The bombing of the electoral commission in Abuja, the capital, was thwarted when crash barriers stopped a tanker loaded with fuel and gas cylinders before it reached the building.

Militants in the southern state of Bayelsa tried to kidnap the state governor and a vice-presidential candidate in a gun battle that lasted for hours. Ballot papers were delivered late to many parts of the country.

Yesterday’s vote was supposed to be the historic first transfer of power from one civilian administration to another since independence in 1960. Instead, observers say, it paid little more than lip service to democracy.

The EU observers criticized the elections.

Map showing the states in which Sharia law is applied in Nigeria. Nigeria’s opposition has slammed the country’s historic presidential election, marked by ballot box chaos, killings and a truck-bomb aimed at blowing up electoral commission headquarters.(AFP/Graphic)

President Olusegun Obasanjo says the election was successful despite the violence and charges of election violations.
All Africa reported:

The death of 14 policemen including an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Mr. O.K.K. Bello, poor logistics and late arrival of materials and pockets of rigging yesterday marred the presidential and National Assembly elections held throughout the country.

But President Olusegun Obasanjo and Senate President, Ken Nnamani described the poll as successful.

Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who is presidential candidate of Action Congress (AC) and his All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) counterpart submitted that it was a shame and a national tragedy.

Our correspondents who monitored the event across the country observed that pockets of violence, alleged stuffing of ballot boxes and other electoral malpractices as well as low turnout of voters and disenfranchisement of some eligible voters, whose names did not appear in the voters’ register marred the elections.

Some are calling the elections a success.
Considering there has never been a successful democratic transfer of power since independence in the ’60’s, maybe they are right.

Police fired on rioting crowds in the northern state of Katsina. (BBC)

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