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Divided North Nigerian City Fears Post-Election Violence

Alexis Akwagyiram | Reuters   in 
March 27, 2015

(Reuters) – As campaigning reached a peak for this Saturday’s presidential election in Nigeria, residents of the volatile city of Kaduna made their own preparations – stock-piling food and securing shops and homes for fear of post-poll unrest.

Just days before the vote, men and women weaved through the northern metropolis’ gridlocked streets with wheelbarrows full of staples such as black-eyed beans and plantains to stash safely at home.

“That woman is stocking up before the election in case there is trouble,” said 38-year-old Shola Oyeniyi, sitting outside the shop where she sells traditional robes.

“Lots of people are doing it so that they won’t need to go out if there is any trouble,” Oyeniyi said. “People are scared. Some are leaving Kaduna to return to their home villages until it is over.”

Few have forgotten how the city erupted into ethno-religious violence after the last election in 2011, also between President Goodluck Jonathan and former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. About 800 people were killed in three days of violence across Kaduna state.

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