VIOLENCE erupted in various parts of the North over results of last Saturday’s presidential election claiming several lives and property.
The violence was reported in various parts of Kaduna, Bauchi, Yobe, Niger, Borno, Jigawa, and Nasarawa states among others. Already a 24-hour curfew has been imposed on Kaduna over the violence which led to the burning of the Vice President, Mohammed Namadi Sambo’s residence, INEC office as well as the palace of the Emir of Zaria.
Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State imposed a 24 hour curfew on Kaduna State, after protests flared in Tudun Wada and other areas of Kaduna town, as the Presidential election results were being announced.
The Presidency has also ordered a shoot on sight order, as the Military, the police and other law enforcement agencies battled to bring sanity in the affected states.
“Since last night, some groups of people, for no justifiable reasons have resorted to acts of violence and wanton destruction of lives and property of law abiding citizens in some parts of the state,” Yakowa stated in a broadcast over the state owned radio.
According to him, “the situation if left unchecked, could lead to the total breakdown of law and order”, said Yakowa, who would be seeking re-election next Saturday.
“This is generating tension in some parts of the state, and in order to contain these security challenges, and following the advice of the Security Council, I have found it necessary to immediately place a 24-hour curfew restricting all forms of movement across the state. The security agencies have been directed to enforce this decision in order to protect the lives and properties of all law-abiding citizens of our dear state”, he said. Security sources said that Yakowa obtained approval of President Jonathan before announcing the shoot on sight order in the state.
Security sources said that the violent demonstration which has claimed some lives started when supporters of the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, General Muhammadu Buhari claimed that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, erected some hurdles which would ensure the defeat of Buhari by “surreptitiously smuggling into the 2011 Electoral Law a clause that requires any candidate that would win the election must not only win the majority of the total votes cast but also win 25 per cent of the votes cast in 2/3 of all states in the country.
It was learnt that trouble started during the last Muslim prayers (maghrib) at about 7pm when an Islamic cleric reportedly told his congregation in mosque in Ungwa Rimi area of the metropolis that Gen. Buhari was being “rigged out of the race” through the alleged introduction of the clause in the Electoral Act.
The demonstrators further said that the election was rigged in favour of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, President Jonathan, insisting that Gen. Mohammadu Buhari of the CPC be declared winner. The three chapels in Federal College of Education and Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria, Kongo Campus (St. Augustine of Hippo, Kongo, Chapels of Salvation and of Resurrection) have also gone under the flame of the rioters.
At Rigassa, the GTB Bank was razed alongside Mr Biggs eatery. Also, the local Police Station in the area was looted of its arms and burnt, according to sources. Rigassa, at Kabala West, was where a bomb had exploded last Saturday night as both Christian and Muslims youths, attacked each other as they tried to defend their borderlines.
Men of the ‘Operation Yaki’, made of both policemen and soldiers, dislodged the Tudun Wada rioters around 7am yesterday, only for the same scenes to be enacted at Rigassa, a predominantly Muslim/CPC enclave. Furthermore, in Kawo, another stronghold of the CPC, supporters attacked suspected homes of members of the PDP, just as residents of Narayi, Sabon Tasha, Television Village and Goni Gora responded to the attacks by burning some mosques in retaliation to the burning of their churches. At Goni Gora, Vanguard was informed that some hoodlums attacked passengers and set their vehicles ablaze.
Casualties on both sides
There were casualties on both sides as soldiers reportedly shot at the perpetrators of the crisis.
As at Press time, Vanguard gathered that the INEC Zonal Headquarters in Kaduna has also been torched, just as the Emir of Zaria’s official residence along Anguwan Sarki Road, Kaduna, was also completely burnt by the mob. The Emir is fingered to be a close confidant of Gov. Patrick Yakowa, a situation that has led to his being booed at public functions in recent times as his antagonists nicknamed him “pastor”.
Among those whose houses or places of worship were torched, include, the family home of the defeated Senatorial candidate of the PDP for Zone 2, Alh. Abubakar Hamisu Mairago in Tudun Wada area, the Country home of Vice President Arc Namadi Sambo’s in Tudun Wada, Zaria and some Christ Apostolic Church(es) (CAC) in GRA Zaria.
It was learnt that unspecified number of persons were burnt alive inside the churches. In Sabon Gari, Zaria it was also learnt that not less than three churches around the Dogon Bauchi area, a hotel and four residential houses of notable Christians in the area were reportedly set ablaze, even as the Nasara Baptist church along Gaskiya road was burnt.
The crisis also spread up to Kafanchan and Zangon Kataf in southern Kaduna where the CPC supporters allegedly set up road blocks and harassed residents, chanting, sai Buhari; sai chanchi. It was gathered that PDP supporters mobilized to counter them when a detachment of the Military from Kachia cantonment, about 80km away stormed
the town to bring the situation under control.
The sources told Vanguard that as soon as the prayers ended, and the information made the rounds, Some street urchins regrouped and started first by burning disused tyres along the Nnamdi Azikiwe express way and other properties reportedly belonging to worshippers of other religions.
Another version of the cause of the crises as Vanguard learnt was that Buhari’s supporters were furious that the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, recorded 100 percent of all registered voters in the Christian dominated southern parts of the state without allowing the Muslim areas to rig election in the zones.”
Kaduna state Commissioner for Information and Home Affairs, Alhaji Saidu Adamu who commented on the crises at about 7.30am yesterday told Vanguard that the crises started in Rigassa, Tudun Wada, Ungwa, Ungwa Sanusi, Ungwa Muazu as well as Kabala West and Nnamdi Azikiwe Express way among others.
Protest in Kano
In Kano there was similar protest as pro Jonathan elements in the state were attacked and their houses burnt as hundreds of youth protested the announcement of presidential election result by INEC in Abuja .
Among those whose residences were torched include the former Speaker of the House of Representative, Umar Ghali Na’aba , Jigawa Governor’s private office, Alhaji Sule Lamido in Kano, the emir of Kano’s Deputy (Galadiman Kano) were torched.
Others on the long list of victims include the residences of Alhaji Bako Sarai, a former member Representing Dawakin Kudu while attempt to overrun both Government House and the emirs palace were repulsed by the police.
Several vehicles were burnt to ashes at the residence of a Nigerian Ambassador to Peoples Republic of China , Alhaji Aminu Wali after a failed attempt to torch the palatial building located within Hotoro GRA.
The ancient city was thereafter thrown into pandemonium yesterday morning while rioters made bonfire on major streets with huge smoke billowing towards the sky.
Major streets have been deserted as shops and Banks closed for business.
Police spokesman in Kano , ASP Magaji Majia, however warned parents to control their children, pointing out that any one arrested will face the full wrath of the law.
Also in Gombe state, the Police Command has imposed dusk to dawn curfew on the state capital starting from 6pm to 6 am following the eruption of civil disturbances Saturday night and Sunday morning, arising from the presidential polls results in which the PDP candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan won.
Churches burnt in Maiduguri
In Maidugri and Damaturu, the capitals of both Bornu and Yobe states two churches including the First Baptist Church and six shops belonging to non indigenes were burnt down to ashes by the angry youths who had besieged all nooks and crannies of Potiskum.
The rampaging youths alleged that Governor of Adamawa, Murtala Nyako, Bauchi, Isa Yuguda, Jigawa, Sule Lamido among other northern governors connived to rig the election against General Buhari.
In Jos, the Plateau State capital on Monday a group of youths believed to be supporters of the Congress for Progressive Change took to the streets allegedly in protest against the expected outcome of the presidential election.
Windscreens of vehicles which ran into the mobs were smashed while a number of people were said to have been injured as the mobs attacked them.
The prompt intervention of security men who moved round to clear the streets of the barricades and fired teargas canisters to disperse the mobs in places like Nasarawa Gwom, Farin Gada, Rikkos and Duala Hotel brought the situation under control after a while.
Two military helicopters hovered over the city apparently to identify troubled spots and security men took positions in strategies spots of the city to forestall any spread of the violence.
Normalcy has returned to Dutse , capital of Jigawa state where anti-Jonathan protest erupted shortly after INEC announced result of Saturday’s Presidential election, the state commissioner of police, Alhaji Abdulrahaman A. Akano has announced.
In Gombe, the rampaging youths burnt down police station and houses, yesterday.
The Federal Medical Centre, Gombe was filled with bodies of those killed. They included three children of the PDP State chairman, Mr. Jack Gumpy and several others who were killed. The roads were deserted while workers who left for work had to return home.