Last Updated: Friday, 27 May 2016, 08:49 GMT

Nigeria: Tens of thousands displaced in post-electoral violence

Publisher Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC)
Publication Date 6 May 2011
Cite as Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC), Nigeria: Tens of thousands displaced in post-electoral violence, 6 May 2011, available at: [accessed 27 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Violence broke out in many parts of the country after incumbent Goodluck Jonathan was declared the winner of the presidential elections held on 16 April over his northern rival Muhammadu Buhari. Despite religious tones, analysts explain the violence as the consequence of poverty and economic marginalisation. The Nigerian Red Cross estimated on 20 April that some 48,000 people had been displaced, mainly in the northern regions, while the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) registered over 10,000 IDPs in Bauchi, Gombe and Yobe states within a week after the elections. At least 12,000 displaced men, women and children found refuge in six locations in Kano in the north, while some 8,400 northerners sought safety at military barracks in the southern state of Anambra, in fear of reprisal attacks. The Nigerian Red Cross and NEMA were among the first agencies to provide relief assistance to the IDPs.

With regional governors to be elected on 2 May, many of those displaced in Kaduna State were at risk of missing the elections. According to NEMA, a total of 26,000 IDPs had been registered in Kaduna State. Many were not planning on going back to the villages where they were legally registered to vote.

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