Nigeria's president orders military to step into election riots

Other News Materials 29 November 2008 05:48 (UTC +04:00)

After scores of people were killed in riots following local elections, Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua Friday ordered the Nigerian military to take charge in Jos, the capital city of central Nigeria's Plateau State, dpa reported.

Olusegun Adeniyi, special advisor to the president, said Yar'Adua had met with the relevant security chiefs, where he gave the order. He had also been briefed by Plateau governor Jonah Jang.

Earlier in the day, Jang had announced a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Jos and the environs, from 6 pm to 6 am, until peace returns to the areas. He warned that any further disruptions would be met with drastic sanctions.

"The government will not allow a repeat of the destruction of the peace ... witnessed some years back," Jang said.

A police spokesman in Plateau, Bala Kassimm, said security agencies had not been able to determine the exact number of people killed. He said that mosques, churches and other valuable property were razed by the combatants.

Reports of sporadic shooting in the council area and of arson continued through Friday.

Local reports said that the violence was between indigenous people and settlers, who have been calling the shots for decades.

No results had yet been declared in any of the elections in the 17 council areas of the state when the violence broke out.

Kassim said that residents of the area were taking refuge at the police headquarters in Jos and that reinforcements had been deployed to the Plateau State capital from the further northern city of Kano to assist in restoring peace.