As Battles Rage in the North, Nigeria’s Jonathan Accepts Presidential Certificate

As Battles Rage in the North, Nigeria’s Jonathan Accepts Presidential Certificate

Amid raging battles in northern Nigeria in protest of the results of Saturday’s presidential election, a smiling President Goodluck Jonathan accepted his certificate of return as the next president in the capital city of Abuja.

Published April 19, 2011

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan, left, receives a certificate of return as the next president by Attahiru Jega in Abuja.  (Photo: AP Photo/Felix Onigbinde)

Amid raging battles in northern Nigeria in protest of the results of Saturday’s presidential election, a smiling President Goodluck Jonathan accepted his certificate of return as the next president in the capital city of Abuja.

Muslim rioters burned homes, churches and police stations in Kaduna, angry that Jonathan, a Christian, beat Muhammadu Buhari, Muslim. Reprisal attacks by Christians was swift, with one mob allegedly tearing a home apart to look for a Quran to prove the occupants were Muslims before setting the building ablaze, writes the Associated Press.

Jonathan called on the rioters to lay down their arms and to reject the violence that has left more than 31 people dead and hundreds injured.

"Most of the youths who are involved in these acts, from what they say, look like unemployed young people," Jonathan said, according to the AP. "These are people who are central to us. These are people that we are committed to change their lives."

While Buhari and his supporters have alleged vote rigging and ballot stuffing, observers have said that Saturday's presidential election was fair and only noted a few instances of irregularities such as children voting and election officials helping voters cast their ballots.

Written by Deborah Creighton Skinner

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