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Unrest won’t stop April polls, says Police Affairs Minister

Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Humphrey Abbah, has said that religious and ethnic violence in the Northern part of the country will not disrupt nationwide elections in April.

At least 200 people have been killed in fighting this month, mostly in Plateau state, where gangs of Christian and Muslim youths have carried out revenge attacks since Christmas Eve bombings that killed 80 people.

The tension has been made worse by the radical Muslim sect Boko Haram, which authorities blame for a series of deadly attacks on Police and government officials.

In an interview with VOA, Nigeria’s Mr. Humphrey Abbah, said the “April elections will be peaceful.” He said the government is capable of containing the violence and is moving to do so.

Brigadier General Hassan Umaru said the military is rotating new troops into a special task force assigned to protect and maintain order in region.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross is stepping up its efforts to treat the wounded and help those displaced by the unrest.

A Red Cross official in Abuja told VOA that new water and sanitation programs are being implemented at centers in the volatile city of Jos.

Nigerians are scheduled to vote in April for a new parliament, state governors and a president. President Goodluck Jonathan is seeking a full term, after taking over for the late President Umaru Yar’Adua last May


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