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The Governor of Imo state Gov. Rochas Okorocha, has revealed that there antagonists standing against Igbo presidency in 2023.

The APC oracle hinted that the present battle he is undergoing with the likes of Senator Hope Uzodinma, Ifeanyi Araraume and his deputy, Eze Madumere, is as a result of some selfish politicians building up their political career for 2023 election.

He said;

“What is happening in Igboland today cannot happen in any other place in Nigeria, because Igbo have made themselves shopping centers, where people can come, shop and buy people to destroy their own. It is not a good omen.

“I want to announce that I’m still running for the Senate for Orlu zone and my party is All Progressives Congress (APC). I’m going to make the difference. We are also supporting President Muhammadu Buhari for second term because he has done well to deserve that. I’m supporting Uche Nwosu, too, because he believes in the state and won’t be going anywhere. Imo needs someone with vision and passion to carry on with the development plans of the state.

“The people of the state joined the APC, in 2015, in spite of the blackmail that trailed the party in this part of the country, because of the confidence they have in me, not only as their governor, but, as their son. Imo people never joined APC because of any other person in Nigeria, they joined the party because of me and nothing has changed in the relationship because they are still with me.”

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Just like you get dumped by people, APC gets dumped by party members. 

Adding to the four members who had dumped the party last week, three more members of the House of Representatives on Thursday also dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress. 

The three APC members are; Messrs Abdulkabir Akinlade (Ogun State), Rabi’u Kaugama (Jigawa State), Mohammed Ajalah (Kogi State).

While another lawmaker defected from the Peoples Democratic Party. Salisu Koko (Kebbi State).

Akinlade moved to the Allied People’s Movement, Kaugama to Social Democratic Party, Ajalah to PDP, and Salisu to SDP.

Akinlade is the choice governorship candidate of Governor Ibikunle Amosun for the APC in Ogun State but the party had recognized Mr Dapo Abiodun as its candidate.

Four members of the House had last week dumped the APC for various parties.

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 ABUJA – The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has urged its members, supporters and indeed all Nigerians to dismiss a report on social media detailing the schedule of its Presidential campaign nationwide.

In a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan on Tuesday, the party said it will make public the timetable of its campaign itinerary very soon, urging members of the public to be well guided.

The statement read: “The attention of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been drawn to a phony post circulating on the social media, purported to be the PDP Presidential campaign timetable.

“The fabricators of the post even went further to allocate venues and dates for zonal rallies, which they claimed to have emanated from the PDP Presidential campaign council.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP clarifies that it has not yet released any timetable or timelines for our Presidential campaigns. Similarly, our party has not yet allotted any dates or venues for our campaigns

“The leadership of the PDP therefore urges all our members and supporters across board to completely disregard the said timetable on the social media, as it did not emanate from the PDP.

“The PDP Presidential Campaign Council led by His Excellency, Senator Bukola Saraki, will soon make public the authentic timetable for our Presidential campaign and such information will have the full seal of our party and disseminated through PDP official handles.”

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The president has something to say to his APC candidates. He has sternly instructed them (candidates of the All Progressives Congress) to embark on real campaign and not to beg, insult and force voters. 

He advised them to base their campaigns on issues ahead of the 2019 elections, Sen. Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, has said.

At a service in Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Ibiaku Parish in Ibiono, Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom on Sunday, he said APC-led government would do real campaign without rancor or politics of bitterness during its campaign in the country.

“Let us go and do real campaign, speaking clean words, marketing what we have done, saying what we will do, saying what we have done and saying what we will do.

“We are not going to beat people to vote for us, we are not going to beg people to vote for us.

“We will not tell lies of what we have not done but tell the people what we have done so that they can judge us in the elections,” he said.

Enang reassured the people that there would be no violence in the 2019 general elections, saying that the people should go out in mass and vote for candidates of their choice.

“There will be no violence in 2019 general elections, we should listen to values and virtues of each of the candidates and political parties and vote according to our judgement.

The APC-led government has requested that they should vote candidates in all the elections,” Enang said.

He restated that APC government had sustained peace and development in the country. Enang said that President Buhari was not religiously bias but a lover of peace and unity. Also, Mr Edet Ikotidem, candidate of APC, Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency in 2019 general elections, said he was in the church to seek Gods directive and to commit his campaign project to God. He said that his ambition was not for selfish quest to amass public resources but burning desire to provide reasonable service through novel leadership schemes.

“I started my journey with God and I will not complete my journey except I consecrate myself to God,” he said.


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JOEY AKAN- When Davido wakes up in the morning and goes through his feed on social media, he definitely finds pockets of critics.

People who bear grudges in their heart against his involvement in the Osun State 2018 gubernatorial election. They don’t attack him directly with the politics. They come right at him in little doses, hiding under criticisms of his music, his love life with Chioma, his choice of slang, and perhaps how he chooses to smile when he takes sick pictures. These people are relentless.

Newly-turned 26, David will also have to think back to the events of past weeks. When he cried out in alarm that he was being denied a venue for his proposed concert at Eko Atlantic, a planned city of Lagos State, Nigeria, being constructed on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean. Due to how large his support is, Davido’s fans run into tens of thousands in Lagos, alone.

Eko Atlantic, with its unending expanse of undeveloped sandy land, can be converted into the largest music venue in the city. But that dream was denied.

Eko Atlantic’s management alleges that they asked for further documentation, which Davido failed to provide. Davido, armed with more information, has stated publicly that his politics was a huge reason.

Davido’s family belongs to the opposition PDP party. Eko Atlantic is a property of their rival, the ruling APC government. His uncle, Senator Ademola Adeleke, lost a heated election to his PDP rival back home in Osun State, in an election they alleged, was influenced by excessive rigging, votre-buying, voter suppression and more. Davido was a prominent feature of the campaign trail. He put his celebrity and stardom on the table as an endorsement of his uncle. That was a noble move. Family is family. It’s the strongest unit of the society. Politics can’t fracture it, at least not in this case. So, if his allegations are true, he is being persecuted for being loyal to his family. For supporting his favourite uncle. For being a ‘real one’.

Nigerian politics is dirty and petty. When there’s a target on you, you can either be killed dirtily, or nibbled at by long corrupted teeth of influence and authority.

This happens until your faith wanes, and your resolve evaporated. You either crossover, or remain at their mercy, which is quite the debilitating experience. If Davido is to be believed, APC is fighting back.

Or perhaps they are punishing him for his loyalty. He was such a strong influence during the election season, pulling huge crowds in arenas, and street corners, where he gave them some level of performance.

In many cases, his appearance was enough. People love Davido and his music.

Back home, they take pride in his story; a son of the soil, born of their earth, now Africa’s sucessful music giant. They want to vote for that. It’s larger than life, and inspirational.

APC won the election with question marks and lawsuits flying from all angles. But Davido made his mark, and helped amplify his family’s grievances. He is their pop culture mouthpiece, bringing in youthful attention to seemingly elderly politics.

How deep should Nigerian musicians be involved with politics? How much should they concern themselves with the workings of governance? How far are they willing to go, if they choose to engage such an evil force? Can they risk it all?

Olamide is currently being courted by the Lagos state government who need him to endorse them with his ‘street’ credibility and followership.

He is better as an ally, and they are willing to make him an offer that is too good to be rejected and refused.

Elsewhere, Singer, Businessman, Anchor and Actor, Banky W is flexing his muscles. He has thrown his hat into the ring for an elected position.

He’s running under the platform of the Modern Democratic Party (MDP) for the Eti-Osa, Lagos seat in the House of Representatives in the 2019 general elections.

All three artists have one way or the other shown a level of commitment to governance, whether for selfish or altruistic motives, they are the few of our myriad superstars who have as much as given any indication that they exists in the same space and are to an extent, bound by the same conditions that affect their fans.

The rest exhibit ostrich behaviour; Stick their heads in the sand and act like the boogeyman won’t see them.

The boogeymen sees them. He simply finds it more beneficial to his purpose if they are allies. The moment they become foes, the dance becomes a fight, and the fine music become battle cries.

Davido’s battle cries are being heard. But he will be fine. Whatever venue he settles for, at least, he can be assured that it will be sold out.

Nigerian musicians ought to get involved more. If the argument about their moral responsibility to be the voice of the voiceless isn’t isn’t enough, then they should do it for professional and selfish reasons.

The music industry is unstructured and underachieving because of the lack of government support via improved copyright laws.

If that is fixed, they are bound to be the cornerstone for the building of an intrinsically profitable music industry.

That industry will be enough to support an entire ecosystem of writers, editors and more value-adding jobs.

Without that, we continue to bounce and bumble along, hoping that Jesus makes a second coming, or we magically become transformed to a structured market.

If they do this one thing, history will hail them as heroes, who ensured generations came and ate the right way.

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Femi Adesina will always prove to be a loyal spokesman to the president. He has said that he (President Muhammadu Buhari) would rather lose the 2019 presidential election than rig it.

The presidential spokesman said this while speaking during a programme on ARISE TV on Tuesday.

Commenting on concerns raised ahead of the 2019 elections, Adesina said the process will be free and fair.

“I’m surprised that this president has been with you for three and half years and yet you do not seem to know him,” he said.

“If anybody would rig election or anything, it will not be President Muhammadu Buhari. He would rather even prefer to lose fair and square.

“He has even said it before that if the only thing he would leave as a legacy for Nigeria is free and fair election, he would do it. Forget that the election would be rigged, that will not happen.”

Reacting to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) statement that Buhari’s ‘Next Level’ document “failed to articulate any solutions,” Adesina said: “PDP is down and will remain there for a very long time so I’d rather not talk about them.

“The Next Level is about deepening what is happening in the country. It’s about consolidating on what has been done and what is been done; its about making progress and advancing on what we are doing now. That is the sum total of it.

“A lot of Nigerians believe in what this administration is doing, they have faith, they have confidence, they have hope that the administration will take Nigerians to the place it deserves to be.

“The work in progress will continue and if you look at the documents that were released, you’ll see additional focal areas.

“So in the next dispensation and by the goodwill of Nigerians who will re-elect the current administration, these three focal areas (security, economy and infrastructure) will continue to receive attention and there will be additional ones as you’ve seen in the documents.”

Commenting on the indictment of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) over the N5.8 billion fund released for internally displaced persons (IDPs), Adesina said, “it is more of a political thing rather than something grounded in facts and truth”.

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Ambassador Fidel Ayogu, the Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources in Enugu State, in an interview with Sun said that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s achievements in his first tenure would speak for him during the elections in 2019.

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration is two years, what is your assessment of the government?

The governor has done very well and he is still going to do more in the remaining part of his first tenure. In the state today, there is a massive infrastructural development and this is in all parts of the state. As I talk to you now, many roads have been completed and so many are ongoing. Again in the past, we used to have moribund state institutions like the Daily Star, ESBS TV and Radio, and so on, they are all functioning now. You can pick Daily Star which earlier had been forgotten from the stand of the vendor and read. I do not think I should be mentioning roads and other infrastructure one by one. The issue of ghost workers has seriously been tackled by this government.

When the governor came in, he set up a committee that looked into the issue of ghost workers and the fake names were identified and replaced with authentic persons who are now in the employ of the State.

What is happening in your own ministry?

In my ministry, we are looking at it from keying into the theme of this year’s World Environmental Day which talks about connecting people to nature. It is as if to say we are the key people that conceived this idea. The theme came from Canada where the Environmental Day was hosted. The day came into being since 1972 and it is being celebrated every year. In Enugu, we have been trying to raise the people’s consciousness on the need to get back to nature irrespective of the technological development that has been threatening the world peace in terms of environment. We have already programmed tree planting. We are into environmental impact assessment which we used, to checkmate the random building and other human actions in the State. We are looking at the environmental audit and we are even looking at reducing the firewood syndrome, just as we are introducing coal. It is just like gas and it is even cheaper than firewood. We are also working to construct the factories in Ugwu Orba, Ugwu Arji and Orba in Nsukka. The project is almost on course. This is to reduce the use of firewood and so on. Apart from the infrastructural development, there is peace and stability in the State.

Is there any extra effort being put in place by the State government to achieve the level of peace and stability you enjoy?

The style of the government under the governor is such that things are distributed equitably to the ward levels. The 450 communities that we have in Enugu State are being given the opportunity to come up with what they consider their priority projects and the communities would be involved in the execution of such projects. There is what we call community projects execution. The whole idea is that at the end of the day, every community in the State would have a project to point at that the government has executed for them. Such a style gives the people especially those at the grassroots, a sense of belonging. The program is already on course.

What are the chances of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State in the next general elections?

We know that we have other political parties in Enugu State but we are not scared because the government is doing well. However, irrespective of what you are doing, there should still be opposition because that is the whole essence of democracy. But the difference here is that irrespective of the political divide people belong, the governor believes that he is for everybody in the State. He is friendly with all and he does not believe in the politics of exclusion. All the stakeholders are being carried along in the affairs of the State. That is the reason for the peace we enjoy.

Generally, all the political parties have challenges but you know that the parties would strengthen themselves when elections are around the corner. In the case of Governor Ugwuanyi, he has a solid structure in the State. I am sure that the PDP would do very well in the next election in Enugu State. I am not saying it is going to be that easy but obviously the performance of Governor Ugwuanyi would definitely be a plus for him.

Recently, it was reported that the Enugu State government was trying to reach an understanding with the South African investors on the possibility of exploiting the abandoned Enugu Coal mine. What are the prospects?

We have not signed any partnership in this respect but we are working toward that. It involves my ministry because it is about mineral resources in Enugu State. The truth is that the governor has been very receptive and hospitable to investors in the State. That was why in April last year, we came up with a program where investors were told to come and invest in the State. And coal is one of the mineral resources we have. The idea is that when you harvest coal and do value addition which is the processed product, it could be turned to electricity, fertilizer, interlock and so many products you could use for road construction. You can have a by-product like sulphur and all that because of the chemical. So, there are prospects in the coal industry and we are going to employ the best expertise to make sure that the dirt in coal in terms of the environment during processing is highly reduced if not completely eliminated.

We want the coal to be at par with what we signed in the Paris agreement this year by President Buhari. The exploitation and processing of the coal deposit would go a long way in boosting the economy of the Federal and Enugu State governments. You know it is going to be a tripartite action between the Federal Government, State and the area where the coal would be processed from. We believe it would lead to employment generation, boost the revenue of the State and Federal Government and we are hoping that it would help in addressing our electricity challenge in the State and Nigeria.

Some argue that the governor has concentrated his projects more in Nsukka, his Senatorial zone. How true is that?

The fact is that the governor is carrying out projects in every local government. What he is doing in Nsukka, he is also doing in the other Senatorial zones. What people should know is that the execution of projects is not only in Nsukka. The governor is fair to all.

However, you know that Nsukka is the second largest urban metropolis in Enugu State after the Coal city, the State capital. We all know that Nsukka has been hosting the University of Nigeria, a premier university for that matter. You also know that Nsukka is the most populated Senatorial zone in the State. So, it is expected that the governor should do more there but so far, he has been fair to all parts of the State. He is doing well and people are happy with what he is doing because if you had not visited Nsukka for some time and you go there now, you may not be able to recognize it. So, there is no doubt that there are changes here and there in Nsukka and we thank him for that and like Oliver Twist, the people would naturally ask for more.

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Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State had in May 29th, accounted for the accomplishments of his government as a 'stand out'. He was overwhelmed by the three-year scorecard his administration had recorded under harsh financial periods.
Ugwuanyi talked on this when he addressed the people of Enugu State during the 2018 Democracy Day at Okpara Square, Enugu yesterday.

He had said that the promises he made during his inauguration on May 29, 2015 had looked vague and unrealistic due to a huge debt profile of the state.

The governor, however, said that with aggressive revenue drive and prudent management of available resources, his administration had held unto its dreams. This, we can account for based on the governments giant stride in education, security, provision of amenities, job creations, etc.

The governor's statement was as thus: “The laudable goals we have achieved appeared impossible at that time owing to the realities on ground: huge debt profile of the state pressing down our neck and huge salaries and pension arrears confronting us.

“All these were in the midst of economic crunch and depleted revenue from the centre. Our promises then appeared vague, but we held unto our lofty dreams.

“Following these reforms, our internally generated revenue hit N22 billion in 2017, the highest by Enugu in a single year since 1999.

“Today, the results we have on ground and the progress we have made in the last three years bear us out that with God all things are possible.”

The governor had said that his administration had set out to build a state where security and peace were the order of the day, insisting that apart from partnering with the security agencies to create a peaceful environment, his administration was also getting the youths engaged through job creation.

He had said that the health sector of the state had come alive with the construction of district hospitals and training of 400 volunteer workers for health intervention programs in rural communities.He noted that doctors, nurses and allied workers had also been employed in the sector.

“As we embark on the last lap of this tenure, be rest assured that we will never let you down. With God ordering our steps, we will continue to put efforts at ensuring that the common good remains our watch-word".

“Let me on your behalf congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari, members of the National Assembly, the judiciary and other state governors on this occasion,” Ugwuanyi had said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the high-points of the event were a parade by the Enugu State Command of the Nigeria Police Force, musical renditions and cultural displays.

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            A wide range evaluation of the governors achievement provides one with enough words to appreciate the governors overwhelming passion in quality education. He has proven to be a strong believer in the "leaders of tomorrow", 'education is key"; quotes.  

The governor’s  unprecedented and enduring feats in the sector have also gone a long way to demonstrate the high premium he places on education as the bedrock of nation building as well as the economic, political and socio-cultural  development of the society. The accomplishments are equally in keeping with his  vision to “deploy government services to create fair and equal opportunity for every willing citizen to make a living and create wealth, educate our children, and enjoy life in a peaceful and secure environment”

Reaffirming his commitment and belief in qualitative, accessible, affordable and inclusive education in the state, the  governor  while commissioning some equipment procured by the state government as well as facilities repairs for teaching and learning in Technical Colleges and Special Science Schools declared that “our best investment is in education”.

      In the past two years, his administration has made concerted efforts, despite the prevailing economic recession, to re-position the state’s education system to improve the standard of learning through the implementation of far reaching reforms as embedded in the four-point agenda. Shortly after he assumed office, the governor  embarked on a program for the renovation, rehabilitation and re-equipment of primary and secondary schools in the state, which were then in dismal and deplorable conditions.

    Sequel to this, he constituted an administrative committee headed by his deputy, Hon. Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo to ensure the full and proper execution of the development projects of the Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board, ENSUBEB. It's satisfactory  to note that the committee’s assignment has yielded the desired aim resulting to the completion of most of the abandoned projects in some schools. The governor at the inception of his administration also renovated and equipped the sickbay and two classroom blocks at Queen’s School, Enugu, and another 7-classroom block at New Haven Secondary School, Enugu.

     The administration equally procured 10 Braille Machines, Jaw Readers, Desktop Computers and other Accessories for visually-impaired students of the College of Immaculate Conception, CIC, Enugu. The best students are not only formed by the best schools but by the best teachers. The government recruited up to 2000 primary school teachers through ENSUBEB. Under ENSUBEB, the state government  renovated over 348 primary and secondary schools in the state worth N3 billion with the federal government providing 50 percent of the sum. The state government through the Post Primary Schools Management Board, PPSMB, under the Chairmanship of Barr. Nestor Ezeme, had procured 600 computers, 600 computer desks, 600 UPS, 60 power generators and 60 printers for public secondary schools in the state.

     In 2016, 12, 480 furniture, comprising writing desks and chairs were procured for primary school pupils in the state and 868 tables with chairs for teachers, as part of the infrastructural reforms being undertaken by the administration to ensure that pupils and teachers in the state primary school system study under very conducive classroom environment.

    The governor in a bid to provide an enabling environment for workers in the state as part of the government’s efforts to promote job satisfaction, efficiency and productivity among the workers; initiated and relocated the Post Primary Schools Management Board, PPSMB, from the temporal secretariat to a befitting permanent site at Independence Layout, Enugu. The relocation, according to the governor, was “another demonstration of his administration’s resolve to provide quality education for the people of the state”. Worried by the ugly experience that post-primary school teachers in the state have not been promoted since 2013 as most of them approach retirement, the administration approved the release of the 2013 promotion arrears for the affected teachers with financial effect. The approval released stated that  the 2014 promotion arrears would be released with financial effect from September 2017 while that of 2015 will be from December 2017. In keeping with its promise to revamp and re-position  state-owned tertiary institutions,  the Institute of Management and Technology, IMT, Enugu was upgraded to a degree awarding institution through the amendment of the extant laws of the Institute.

    His administration, in spite of the daunting economic recession in the country, released N100 million to the institution to enable it meet the accreditation needs of its courses. The government was and is still assisting heavily in the provision of infrastructure, renovation of dilapidated buildings/ facilities and other logistics needed to improve the quality of learning in the institute.

The government has also extended same to other state’s tertiary institutions, such as the Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo and the Enugu State College of Education (Technical), through various interventions aimed at re-positioning and revamping them to be able to award certificates. In this regard, the administration has put in place, machinery to ensure that the Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo scales through the accreditation of its new courses by the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, to be formally listed as a polytechnic. It has also provided necessary funds to enable the Enugu State College of Education (Technical) scale its accreditation hurdles and be in a position to issue certificates which it had not been able to do for nine years because of non-accreditation. The state government had approved the upgrade of the Enugu State College of Education (Technical), Enugu to a University of Education status to specialize in training of teachers in sciences, technology, vocational subjects, arts and social sciences. The government also approved the sum of N200 million for relocation of the institution to Ihe in Awgu Local Government Area to provide enough space for expansion and open up the council area for socio-economic development.

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A History of Election Violence 
Between independence in 1960 and 1999, Nigeria produced only two elected governments - both later overthrown in military coups. Nigeria's military ruled the country for nearly 30 of its first 40 years of independence. However, in 1999, Nigeria made a transition to civilian rule. The 1999 elections, which brought a retired general, Olusegun Obasanjo, to power, were blighted by such widespread fraud that observers from the Carter Center concluded that "it is not possible for us to make an accurate judgment about the outcome of the presidential election."

Federal and state elections in 2003 were again marred by fraud as well as serious incidents of violence that left at least 100 people dead and many others injured. Human Rights Watch found that members and supporters of the ruling party were responsible for the majority of abuses, though opposition parties also engaged in political violence. Most deaths occurred when opposing bands of armed gangs fought each other in an effort to control an area and displace supporters of the opposing party. Human Rights Watch documented how ruling party politicians in the oil-rich Niger Delta mobilized and funded armed groups to help rig elections. That led to a sustained increase in violence and criminality in the region.

Despite the abysmal record of the 1999 and 2003 elections, the government did not correct the problems in the next elections. Observers from the European Union described the 2007 elections, which brought Umaru Yar'Adua, a Muslim from northern Nigeria, to power, as among the worst they had witnessed anywhere in the world. Human Rights Watch estimates that at least 300 people were killed in violence linked to the 2007 elections.

Corrupt politicians, in many cases backed by mafia-like "godfathers," openly mobilized gangs of thugs to terrorize ordinary citizens and political opponents and to stuff or steal ballot boxes. The police were often present during such incidents but frequently turned a blind eye or, at times, participated in abuses. In other locations elections simply did not take place, yet the electoral commission reported ruling-party victories with high voter turnout.

Following Yar'Adua's death in May 2010 from natural causes, Goodluck Jonathan, his vice president, was sworn in as president. An internal zoning agreement within the ruling People's Democratic Party provides that a northerner should have held the presidency following the eight-year administration of Obasanjo, a Christian from southwest Nigeria.

Despite opposition by some of the northern leaders, Jonathan managed to secure the ruling party's ticket in the party primary in January 2011 and went on to sweep the predominately Christian south during the April elections. His main opponent, Muhammadu Buhari, the candidate for the Congress for Progressive Change, won the majority of votes in the largely Muslim north. The election left the country deeply divided on religious and ethnic lines.

A New Cycle of Violence
The day after the presidential election, held on April 16, Buhari's supporters launched demonstrations in the streets of northern Nigeria. The protests turned violent in 12 northern states as mobs burned the homes, vehicles, and properties of ruling party stalwarts, most of whom were Muslim, and traditional leaders who were seen to have backed the ruling party.

The rioters also began targeting and killing Christians and members of southern Nigerian ethnic groups, who were seen as supporting the ruling party, and burning churches across the north. As the riots spread, mobs of Christians in predominately Christian communities in Kaduna State retaliated by killing Muslims and burning their mosques and properties.

In Bauchi State, rioters targeted members of the National Youth Corps Service, who served as ad-hoc election staff. According to media reports and journalists interviewed by Human Rights Watch, on the afternoon of April 17 in Giade, a rural town in northern Bauchi State, rioters attacked the youth corps members in the town. The youth corps members, who were from southern Nigeria, ran to the local police station to seek refuge, but the rioters stormed the police station. The mob killed the police officer on duty and burned down the police station, the journalists said. They raped two of the female youth corps members then hacked them to death with machetes, along with five male youth corps members. In total, rioters killed ten youth corps members in the state.

Kaduna State, which is divided along religious and ethnic lines, suffered the highest death toll during the three days of rioting. The Hausa-Fulani ethnic group, most of whom are Muslim, make up the majority in northern Kaduna State, while southern Kaduna State is dominated by predominately Christian ethnic groups. In the city of Kaduna, the state capital, the river that intersects the city serves as a symbolic divider for the largely segregated city, state, and nation.

Kaduna State has a history of violent inter-communal clashes but peace that had lasted since the last major outbreak of violence in 2002 was broken by the post-presidential election violence. It soon spread to sectarian bloodletting around the state. The following are some of the incidents of post-election violence recorded in Kaduna State:

  • A lecturer at the Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, a college on the outskirts of the city of Zaria, described to Human Rights Watch how a mob of youth chanting pro-Buhari slogans cornered four Christian students and a Christian lecturer in the staff quarters of the campus and beat them to death with sticks, clubs, and machetes on April 17.
  • In the city of Kaduna, Christians and Muslims who found themselves on the wrong side of the river during the riots were bludgeoned to death by marauding mobs. Churches and mosques were torched in the city. Civil society leaders said that Christian travelers were dragged out of their vehicles by mobs of Muslims and killed on the main road leading north of the city. Mobs of Christians also torched vehicles on the expressway leading through the city's southern neighborhoods, killing Muslim motorists.
  • A Human Rights Watch researcher visited the town of Maraba Rido on the outskirts of the city of Kaduna. Dozens of houses and shops were razed to the ground, and the main mosque was torched, with anti-Islamic graffiti and the inscription "Jesus is Lord" inscribed on the burned-out walls of the mosque. According to one of the Muslim leaders, 28 Muslims were killed, while hundreds of others fled the area and as a result were unable to vote in the gubernatorial elections.
  • A Human Rights Watch researcher returned to a polling place near the burned-out homes and mosque in Maraba Rido for the April 28 gubernatorial elections, after the violence. The posted results showed the ruling party candidate for governor, a Christian, received 441 votes, while the Muslim candidate for Buhari's Congress for Progressive Change failed to register a single vote. Similarly skewed results were found by a Human Rights Watch researcher in the town of Zonkwa where many Muslims were killed or fled.
  • Men from the predominately-Christian Bajju ethnic group in the town of Zonkwa burned six of the town's mosques, as well as the homes, shops, and vehicles of Muslim residents. Witnesses said that violence began late in the afternoon of April 18 and continued throughout the night. By mid-morning on the following day, the Bajju men had killed or displaced nearly all of the town's Hausa-Fulani residents. One of the district heads acknowledged to Human Rights Watch: "The boys here made it total. They would not relent."
  • According to one of the Muslim leaders in Zonkwa who participated in the burial of the victims, and showed Human Rights Watch photo documentation of the mass burial of corpses, 311 Muslims, nearly all of them men, were buried in a mass grave in Zonkwa later that week, while the remains of 24 others, many of their corpses charred beyond recognition, were buried in one of the town's wells. Christian leaders in Zonkwa told Human Rights Watch that 10 Christians had also been killed in the town and surrounding communities. No churches were destroyed.
  • In the neighboring town of Kafanchan, clashes between Muslim and Christian youth continued unabated throughout the night of April 18. Christian and Muslims leaders told Human Rights Watch that by the next morning at least 20 Christians and 34 Muslims had been killed. The mobs torched hundreds of homes, shops, and vehicles, and razed to the ground the central market. Twenty-six mosques and four churches were burned or destroyed. One of the leaders from the Igbo ethnic group, the vast majority Christians from southeastern Nigeria, told Human Rights Watch that 11 Igbo residents were killed in Kafanchan, while 224 of their houses and 837 shops, many of them in the central market, were burned.

Failure to Break the Cycle of Violence
More than 15,700 people have been killed in inter-communal, political, and sectarian violence since Nigeria returned to civilian rule in 1999. In Kaduna State, at least 2,000 people were killed in sectarian clashes in 2000 sparked by Christian protests against the proposed introduction of Sharia law in the state. Two years later, sectarian violence sparked by Muslim protests linked to the Miss World beauty contest left some 250 people dead.

The human cost of such violence has been particularly high in neighboring Plateau State, where Human Rights Watch estimates that more than 3,800 people have been killed in inter-communal and sectarian clashes since 2001, at least 1,000 of them in 2010 alone.

Human Rights Watch has found that state and local government policies that discriminate against members of ethnic groups classified as "non-indigenes" - those who cannot trace their ancestry to what are said to be the original inhabitants of an area - have exacerbated existing inter-communal tensions in Nigeria. These discriminatory government policies have effectively relegated millions of residents to permanent second-class status.

Despite repeated outbreaks of inter-communal violence, federal and state government authorities, under the ruling party's control since 1999, have done little to address the root causes of the violence. The Nigerian authorities have failed to break the cycle of killings by holding accountable those responsible.

In southern Kaduna State, a civil servant told Human Rights Watch that he recognized some of the individuals who he saw kill his neighbors. But when he went to the police to file a report, the senior police officer at the station told him that "if the police started arresting people now, it would cause more problems." Instead the police advised the man to wait until a commission of inquiry is set up to investigate the violence.

Over the years, the federal and state governments have set up various committees and commissions of inquiry to investigate outbreaks of violence, but the reports from these bodies, and the occasional government white paper, have mostly been shelved. In the absence of accountability and effective redress, communities that have suffered violence frequently resort to vigilante justice and exact revenge by inflicting commensurate harm on members of other communities.

"Panels of inquiry have become a tunnel through which the government runs away from their responsibility to bring the culprits of violence to book," said Innocent Chukwuma, executive director of CLEEN Foundation, a civil society group that works on justice sector reform. "Going to these panels buys the government time and when the problem drops from the headlines they go back to business as usual."

Witness Accounts 
A lecturer at the Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, a college on the outskirts of the city of Zaria in northern Kaduna State, described to Human Rights Watch how a mob of Muslim youth attacked and killed four Christian students and a Christian lecturer on April 17:

Between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. they entered the school chanting slogans and shouting: "Where are the Christians that supported the ruling party?" When you see the mob, they were not in their senses. They had painted their faces black and were shouting that they needed "change" [the Congress for Progressive Change campaign slogan]. The mob had all sorts of weapons - machetes, sticks, and clubs. They started breaking the glass [windows] on the buildings. The students ran away but the mob pursued them into the staff quarters and they had nowhere to go. The mob beat them to death and hit them with machetes. Four Christian students and a Christian lecturer were killed. The lecturer was Yoruba. Three of the students and the lecturer died on the spot; the other student died at St. Luke's Anglican Hospital. About 200 students - both Christians and Muslims - were injured; eight students are still in the hospital. I helped take the dead and injured to the hospital. The mobs also burned four of the staff houses. They said the lecturers had given money to the ruling party.

Between 12 and 1 p.m. the military arrived and started shooting in the air and the mob scattered. They arrested one person. The military gathered the students to the main football field and kept guard. There were several thousand students. They all slept that night on the football field.

In the small town of Matsirga in southern Kaduna State, Muslim leaders told Human Rights Watch that 39 Muslims were killed. A middle-aged man who lives in the town described to Human Rights Watch what he saw on the night of April 18:

Around 8 p.m. after Isha'a prayers we were sitting around our mosque eating with our neighbors. One of my sons told me that people had made a roadblock on the road entering our town. I called one of the Bajju [ethnic group] leaders [name withheld] and he told me this trouble is from Kaduna and he can't do anything. He said I should pack my family and go hide. But they had blocked the road so we couldn't leave. I stood by the gate with my family. Around 10 p.m. I was told that the Bajju youth had set fire to one of the houses. I saw the fire in the distance. Some time past 10 p.m., a group of Bajju youth came and set fire to my neighbor's house. They were large in number. Some had sticks, machetes, and catapults. I recognized one of them. I called out to him, "What is going on?" He said, "Today you will face the music." Another Bajju youth had a double barrel gun. My neighbor Yahaya pleaded with him saying, "Why are you doing this?" But he shot Yahaya at close range. He was gasping for breath and died. I ran to my house and told my family to run. I climbed a mango tree by my house. I saw the Bajju come and set fire to my house. I saw them burn my house, my car, my neighbor's house, and the neighborhood mosque.

Around 3 a.m., after all the houses were burned, I climbed down from the tree and crawled on the ground until our burial ground. I then ran to the river about two kilometers away. I hid in the water for about an hour. When it started getting light, I crawled out of the river and climbed a nearby mountain and hid. I saw the Bajju people looking for us. I saw them kill three people by the river with machetes and an axe. I could see them but they couldn't see me....

I later went back to my house with the police and army. One of my sons was killed, but my wives and other children survived. One of his [my son's] friends told me he saw the Bajju youth cutting him with machetes. They didn't kill women; they only killed men and boys. Some of the corpses we saw were burned. We couldn't identify them. Everything was burned to ashes, all of my documents, everything was burned to ashes. We have no other place than here. I was born in Matsirga.

Human Rights Watch interviewed two witnesses who described how a police officer shot and killed Suliman Adamu inside a house in the Tudun Wada neighborhood of Kaduna city on the morning of April 18. A construction worker described what he saw:

Around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday night [April 17], the day after the elections, people started burning tires [in the streets]. The police came and started shooting and we ran away. On Monday morning, around 8:30 to 9 a.m., some people started coming out and burning tires again. The police returned and pursued one of the people into Suli's [Suliman's] compound. Two policemen entered the compound. One was in mufti [civilian dress], he had a red Manchester jersey, and was wearing a helmet. The other police officer was wearing a black police uniform with a helmet. I saw one shoot his gun through the window. I heard Suliman yell. The policeman then shot again through the door. I heard the other policeman ask him why he shot him inside his house. He answered, "If I shoot him, I can't miss; I can't waste my ammunition for nothing." The policemen then left. Before we could take him to the hospital he was dead.

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