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Former Nigerian president faces violence probe

Posted on Wednesday, 19 October 2011 15:09

Former Nigerian president General Mahummadu Buhari is under investigation over allegations that he used language that could have sparked the April post-election violence.

Buhari now a leading opposition figure is being investigated by the State Security Service (SSS) over a possible link between his rhetoric, speeches, metaphors and the election violence that marred the presidential election.

The former soldier was President Goodluck Jonathan’s main challenger in the polls and his campaign speeches were reportedly bellicose.

Government officials argue that Buhari’s claim that voters should guard their votes had encouraged people to stage demonstrations as soon as it was announced that Jonathan had won the election.

As soon as the election results were announced, violence erupted in about 10 states in northern Nigeria.

According to reports, SSS undercover agents have contacted some electronic media organisations asking for Buhari’s campaign speeches, sound bites and campaign tapes particularly in the northern part of the country where he made statements that could incite violence.

Buhari and his party, the Congress for Democratic Change, have dismissed the claim, arguing that other prominent religious figures as well as the head of the electoral commission Attahiru Jega issued similar statements urging voters to guard their votes.

“Buhari is not bothered about what they are doing because all his campaign speeches were not made in secret; they were publicly made.

“Therefore, he has nothing to fear about whoever is investigating his political speeches,” Buhari’s aide told the Daily Trust.

SSS spokesperson Marylyn Ogar is yet to comment on the investigation.

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