Niger blames backers of jailed presidential hopeful for violence

2016-02-04 21:30
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Niamey - Niger's interior minister on Thursday accused supporters of jailed presidential candidate Hama Amadou of acts of violence against backers of the incumbent president seeking re-election.

"Since the start of the campaign, there have been acts of aggression, violence committed by MODEN activists against supporters of [President] Mahamadou Issoufou and any vehicles with his poster," Hassoumi Massaoudou told AFP.

Issoufou is running for a second term in the February 21 vote in the arid west African country, while his rival Amadou, of the Democratic Movement of Niger (MODEN), remains in prison over allegations of taking part in a baby trafficking scandal.

The jailed politician, who was arrested in November on his return from exile in France, has denied the allegations and claims that "a political case" has been mounted to prevent him from challenging Issoufou.

He has been denied bail though several other senior political, military and business figures facing accusations in the case have been released pending trial.

The interior minister charged that Amadou's supporters had damaged "at least 50 vehicles" since the presidential campaign began on Saturday.

Motorcade

"There's never been such violence before during an electoral campaign," he said.

"Everywhere they see posters of Issoufou, they tear them down. When they run into activists with [car] stickers, they smash their vehicles," added Massaoudou, who is general secretary of the president's Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS).

On Tuesday evening, police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of Amadou's supporters who had gathered outside MODEN party headquarters in Niamey and spilled over into the road before a presidential motorcade was due to pass by.

MODEN's campaign director Youba Diallo has charged that the national and presidential guards joined police in cracking down on the meeting of Amadou supporters.

"We had to interrupt our meeting because of the suffocating gas," said one participant.

The incident was the first since the start of the presidential election campaign.

On February 21, almost 7.5 million voters will be called to the polls to choose among 15 presidential candidates, as well as electing a new parliament in one of the world's poorest nations.

Read more on:    niger  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.