Youth riot in Nigeria over failed campaign promises

Published On : Friday, May 13 2016

Kano - Angry youth in northern Nigeria torched homes and properties of two politicians on Wednesday over unfulfilled campaign promises made during the lead-up to the vote that brought President Muhammadu Buhari to power, witnesses told AFP.

A mob of young men stormed and set fire to the country home of Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya and the campaign office and poultry farm of politician Abdullahi Mahmud, located in the town of Gaya, about 50km from Kano, Nigeria's third-largest city.

The politicians, who both were voted in with Buhari's All Progressives Congress (APC) party last year, had promised to improve on sputtering electricity, limited water supply and rampant unemployment.

"They overwhelmed the police who tried in vain to stop them" from committing arson, local resident Usman Bala told AFP, adding that the protesters stole "all the chickens" from the farm.

Kano state police spokesperson Musa Magaji Majia confirmed the riots had taken place, but declined to give details.

"There were violent protests by some youth in Gaya where acts of arson have been reported," Majia said.

Unfulfilled promises made by the politicians in the run-up to the election have resulted in widespread disillusionment with Buhari's government, Gaya residents said.

"The three demands were improved power and water supply as well as employment opportunities for our teeming jobless youth," resident Yusuf Dalhatu said.

But both politicians who won under Buhari's APC banner rarely visited home and made no effort to fulfil the demands of the electorate, residents said.

Buhari was voted into power vowing to end the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency in the north and endemic corruption that has left oil-rich Nigeria with crumbling infrastructure and an import-dependent economy.

He has vowed to kick-start the moribund economy with a record budget, yet fuel, electricity and foreign exchange shortages are dragging down growth.