Kaduna Is Afraid Of Possible Post-Election Violence
As campaigning reached a peak for this Saturday’s presidential election in Nigeria, residents of the volatile city of Kaduna made their own preparations.
Just days before the vote, men and women in Kaduna, weaved through the northern metropolis’ gridlocked streets with wheelbarrows full of staples such as black-eyed beans and plantains to stash safely at home.
“Lots of people are doing it so that they won’t need to go out if there is any trouble,” Oyeniyi told Reuters reporters. “People are scared. Some are leaving Kaduna to return to their home villages until it is over.”
“I lost my cousin, his wife and their children. They were burned inside their car,” Godwin Chukwudi, 33, said, gazing at the floor in the cramped cloth stall he runs in Kaduna’s central market.
Shehu Sani, a human rights activist standing as the APC senatorial candidate, blamed a small minority acting in revenge for Jonathan supporters destroying APC posters.
“No-one in the party encouraged anyone to take action against the PDP but you can’t stop the young people from taking action,” he told to the source.
On Monday, March 23, dozens of men broke away from a peaceful rally in support of Buhari and the APC to attack the city center campaign office of Jonathan’s Peoples Democratic Party.
The youths slashed posters of Jonathan with machetes and hurled rocks at his party campaign office, prompting retaliation from the PDP supporters before soldiers and police restored calm.
The upcoming election is being tipped as the closest and most polarizing vote since Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and its biggest economy, returned to civilian rule in 1999.
The incumbent Kaduna state governor and the candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, the APC governorship candidate, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, and other party candidates in February signed a peace pact to ensure violence-free campaign and election in the state.
The peace accord enabled by Patrick Dokumor, the assistant inspector general of police in charge of zone 7, comprising Niger, Kaduna and Abuja, brought the candidates together to embrace peace before, during and after the 2015 polls.