Abuja: Nigeria's electoral commission on Tuesday officially announced President Goodluck Jonathan winner of the country's Presidential election amid riots and violence. Youths protested the election result and killed several. Several churches, mosques and homes including the house of Vice-President Namadi Sambo were torched.

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Attahiru Jega announced Jonathan's victory in the Presidential elections.

Jega said the incumbent President won by more than ten million vote margin and had enough spread of votes in the country's 36 states to avoid a runoff.

INEC had earlier made election statistics public through an emailed press release but Nigeria's constitution mandates the chairman to make a public declaration which must be
followed by the issuance of a certificate of return to the winner.

The vote count showed Jonathan, a Christian from the southern oil-producing Niger Delta, had beaten Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler from the north.

Jonathan, 64, received 60.02 per cent of the vote as compared to 30 per cent for Buhari.

Anti-riot policemen were deployed in the streets as protesters hit some northern states alleging rigging. Observers, however, have called the poll the fairest in decades in Africa's most populous nation.

The Nigerian Red Cross said churches, mosques and homes had been burnt in rioting across the north and many people had been killed, but it was impossible to give a toll for now. Police has vowed to arrest demonstrators.

In Kano state, residence of the ex-speaker of the lower Parliament known as House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na'Abba, was burnt down by the protesting youth.

Angry protesters set tyres ablaze and barricaded streets even as anti-riot policemen tried to disperse them, in Kaduna town.

A home belonging to Vice President Namadi Sambo was among those set alight in the northern city of Zaria and a mob sought to burn a Christian woman alive in another area.

Violent protests were also witnessed in other northern states of Gombe, Adamawa and Katsina. In Gombe, a dusk to dawn curfew was announced by the state police.

Jonathan called on political leaders to call their supporters to stop violence.

 

(Agencies)