Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Muslims warn that Christians may ‘pay the price’ for outcome of Nigerian election

Pray for protection and strength
for believers in Nigeria.
Violence erupted in many of Nigeria’s northern cities on April 16, after a presidential election that appears to have given a sweeping victory to incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, reported BBC News and VOM sources.

Goodluck, a Christian from the south and representative of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), took 57 percent of the vote. He received about 22.5 million votes compared with 12.2 million for his opponent, General Muhammadu Buhari.

Goodluck came to power a year ago when his predecessor, Muslim Umaru Yar'Adua, became ill and died. Goodluck was serving as vice president at the time.

Traditionally, leadership in the religiously and ethnically divided nation alternates between Muslim and Christian leaders in the top job; their running mates are often of the opposite religion.

As news of Goodluck’s apparent victory spread, rioters took to the streets in the cities of Kaduna, Kano and Jos, burning the homes of PDP supporters. The BBC also reported protests in the states of Gombe, Adamawa, Katsina and Sokoto.

A VOM source in Nigeria wrote, “Just this morning [April 20], we woke up to the fresh news of attacks on Christians in Kaduna city, mostly in Kawo, Gonin Gora and several other areas across Kaduna. Many churches, Christian houses and properties are now on fire. Many Christian families were trapped and surrounded by violent Muslims reacting to the outcome of the presidential election that is yet to be declared officially.

“The fear of Muslims is that they do not want a Christian leader and president in Nigeria. Even before now, it has been rumored that if the PDP wins the election, they will not accept the result and that Christians should be ready to pay the price. Please pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in Kaduna right now.”

Christian Solidarity Worldwide has noted that members of the Youth Corps are being targeted because they were employed to monitor the elections, and had resisted efforts at vote rigging. Also there are currently curfews in Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano and Kaduna States.

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