Four Nigerians die during local elections

Source: Reuters

YENAGOA, Nigeria, April 3 (Reuters) – Four Nigerians were killed and more than a dozen injured in clashes between gangs during a local election in the oil producing state of Bayelsa, police said on Saturday. Police said the situation in the town of Ekeremor in the north of the state was now under control after fighting began early Saturday between rival groups. “We can confirm four have been killed in the violence,” said spokesman Solomon Omoemin. However, it was not immediately clear if the violence was directly linked to the voting. Nigeria faces the huge task of organising credible federal and state polls next year following widespread ballot-stuffing and voter intimidation during elections in 2007 which brought President Umaru Yar’Adua to power. Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, who assumed executive powers two months ago as Yar’Adua is too sick to govern, has made overhauling the electoral system a top priority and reform legislation is before parliament. Candidates and voters in February decried widespread irregularities in the election for governor of Anambra, the first in a cycle of state and federal polls culminating in presidential elections due in April 2011. (Reporting by Segun Owen; Writing by Randy Fabi; editing by David Stamp)
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