Riots Erupt in Nigeria, Many Feared Dead

Churches, homes, and cars were torched in Nigeria’s Muslim-majority north on Monday after initial results of the April 16 presidential election showed southerner and incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan winning over northerner Muhammadu Buhari by a mile.

A Red Cross official said that “a lot of people have been killed” by the riots, which came after a relatively peaceful election that observers described as the fairest in years. Authorities said the mayhem was carried out by people who refuse to accept the election results. According to Reuters, Jonathan, a former vice-president who was appointed president after the death of Umaru Yar’Adua, garnered around 23 million votes to Buhari’s 12 million.

Buhari, a former military strongman who ruled the most populous African country from 1983 to 1985, said he doubts the veracity of the results and would accept the outcome of the poll only after cross-checking. “We cannot accept these results as announced until cross-checks have been carried out by the electoral commission,” Buhari’s spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, told Reuters.