On this day, about two thousands angry youths stormed a mosque in the riot-torn city of Jos, a city in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria. Thousands of troops and police patrolled the streets of the central city after the clashes between rival Christians and Muslims over the result of a local election.
It was reported that the electoral workers did not publicly list the winners of the elections, and rumours began that the election was won by the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), barrister Timothy Gyang Buba, defeating the candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP). People from the largely Muslim Hausa community began protesting even before the results were released, which led to the clashes that claimed hundreds of lives between the Muslims, and Christians who largely supported Buba.
Youths entered the main mosque as the speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, made an appeal to Muslim leaders for calm. The two days of rioting left hundreds injured and at least 761 dead. Homes, mosques, churches and schools were damaged or burned by mobs. The Nigerian Red Cross Society reported that 10,000 people fled their homes due to the riots, and were living in government-provided shelters. Nigerian soldiers were sent into Jos to break up the fighting and create a buffer zone between the Christians and Muslims. Flights to and from Jos were canceled and roads to the north were blocked.
The governor of Plateau state, Jonah Jang, imposed a 24-hour curfew on four districts of the city, and soldiers were permitted to shoot on sight to prevent more violence. Human Rights Watch alleged that soldiers and police carried out more than 130 extra judicial killings while responding to the riots. Many armed youths of both sides were arrested at the military roadblocks. Police reported that more than 500 people were arrested as a result of the riots. But state officials said no one was successfully prosecuted.