Buhari claims widespread irregularities in Nigerian polls

Defeated Nigerian presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said that the elections...

Nigerian presidential candidates Goodluck Jonathan (L) and ex-military ruler Muhammadu Buhari (R). Pictures: AFP

Defeated Nigerian presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said that the elections were tainted with widespread voting irregularities.

The populous West African state was rocked by violence on Monday, after it was announced that Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan won the ballot.

Jonathan said the post-election violence was not a spontaneous reaction and vowed to find the culprit.

On Wednesday, Buhari said the violence was “sad, unfortunate and totally unwarranted”.

He added that it was a political matter and should not be turned into an ethnic, religious or regional one.

At least 51 people have died since rioting started after Saturday’s presidential vote. Some 31 bodies were recovered in the northern town of Kaduna.

Nigerian authorities are afraid they may incite further violence if they release more figures.

Muslim rioters burned homes, churches and police stations after results showed that a Christian candidate won the polls. Reprisal attacks by Christians began almost immediately.

Mobs also engineered two prison breaks and tried to destroy the home of Nigeria’s vice-president.