Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Gen Muhammadu Buhari won 18% of Saturday's vote. Nigeria's opposition parties are meeting to agree on a common strategy to fight the outcome of last Saturday's flawed presidential elections.
Major opposition candidates Atiku Abubakar and Muhammadu Buhari rejected the results and called for protests.
They have also urged parliament to annul the polls and call for a re-run.
But the powerful Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has advised against any mass protests, saying it is best to head for the law courts.
Two evils never make a right
Archbishop Alaba George
Many local and international observers say the election which was won by the governing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was flawed.
But the BBC's Senan Murray in Abuja says that having failed to present a common front during the poll, it is not clear how the opposition can now challenge its outcome in a unified way.
Although the bishops say Nigerians' votes had been "abused, traumatised and brutalised", they also say the answer does not lie in violent protests.

Monitors slam poll "charade"
A monitor's election experience

"Two evils never make a right. To cause chaos; to cause people to lose their lives and property is definitely wrong," Archbishop Alaba George told the BBC.
Fearing a possible outbreak of violence in the volatile Kaduna State, a ban on street demonstrations has just been announced in the north-western state.
But further north in the conservative Muslim-dominated Kano State, some women heeded opposition calls and took to the streets to protest the outcome of last Saturday's parliamentary poll.
In addition to his election troubles, Nigeria's Code of Conduct Tribunal is expected to decide whether it could try Mr Abubakar for graft despite his constitutional immunity against criminal prosecution.
Mr Yar'Adua gained 24.6m votes, against 6.6m for his closest challenger, Mr Buhari and 2.6m for vice-president turned opposition candidate Mr Abubakar.
Outgoing President Olusegun Obasanjo has defended the organisation of the vote.
"No elections in the world will ever be regarded as perfect... You cannot use European standards to judge the situation in a developing country," he told the BBC.
The presidential poll was held alongside elections for the National Assembly and Senate.
Nigeria - one of the world's biggest oil producers - is of key strategic interest to both the West and the growing economies of the East.
But despite the country's huge oil wealth, much of the population lives on less than $1 a day.



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