“We left our homes for fear of attacks from the mobs,” said a Christian woman in Kano. “Jonathan rival rejects vote result as thousands flee Nigeria unrest,” from the Daily Nation, April 20 (thanks to Twostellas):
The Muslim opposition candidate in Nigeria”s presidential polls rejected the results today but urged calm after deadly post-election riots, amid a rush to help nearly 40,000 displaced.
Authorities say many were killed in the violence, which saw corpses burnt beyond recognition and bodies reportedly thrown into wells, but have refused to give a toll, saying it could spark reprisals and would be inaccurate.
There were reports of fresh clashes in the northern state of Kaduna overnight, with a community leader telling local radio “the killing was unbelievable and the destruction is colossal.”
One government official, explaining authorities” reluctance to release an overall death toll from since the vote on Saturday, said, “I wouldn”t like to use the term massacre… some places it was terrible.”
Curfews and military patrols appeared to have brought an uneasy calm to many areas Wednesday as the thousands who fled their homes in fear took refuge at police and military barracks, sleeping in the open under trees.
The Red Cross said it had counted around 410 people wounded in the violence that began sporadically in the country”s mainly Muslim north before spreading to some 14 states on Monday. [...]
Authorities have however argued that the rioting was not based on religion or ethnicity but was instigated by those unhappy with the victory of incumbent Goodluck Jonathan, a southern Christian.
And why were they angry with Jonathan’s victory? Because he is a southern Christian, and they are northern Muslims who are enraged that he succeeded a Muslim and that a Muslim is not in power:
Jonathan took over in May 2010 following the death of his predecessor Umaru Yar”Adua, a northern Muslim who had not finished his first term, prompting bitterness in the north over its loss of power.
In the most intense rioting Monday, mobs roamed the streets with machetes and clubs, pulling people out of cars and setting homes on fire. Reprisal attacks intensified the situation.
For fear of attacks
In the main northern city of Kano, a Christian woman taking refuge at a police station said she had fled through back alleys with her three children after she saw smoke and heard shouting.
“We left our homes for fear of attacks from the mobs,” said Mary Okechukwu, 36. “Many have gone back to their homes, but … I will not risk my life and that of my children.”…