Nigerian electoral commissioner dies in house fire

2015-04-03 21:00
Policemen try to stop a demonstration by coalitions of civil societies protesting as the head of INEC, Attahiru Jega, speaks about the election postponement in Abuja. (File: AFP)

Policemen try to stop a demonstration by coalitions of civil societies protesting as the head of INEC, Attahiru Jega, speaks about the election postponement in Abuja. (File: AFP)

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Kano - The electoral commissioner for Nigeria's second-most populous state, Kano, has died in a house fire with his wife and two children, his office told AFP on Friday.

Resident electoral commissioner Mukaila Abdullah presided over elections last weekend, at which opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari won overwhelming support in the northern state.

Buhari's All Progressives Congress (APC) also took all available seats in the parliamentary vote held at the same time.

"It is true we lost our commissioner to a fire outbreak in his house," said Lawan Garba, spokesperson for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kano.

"He died along with his wife and two children. We have conveyed the bodies to his home town, Dutse [the capital of neighbouring Jigawa state)], where he will be buried after Friday prayers."

The fire broke out at Abdullah's house in the upmarket Nassarawa area of Kano.

There was no immediate comment on the cause of the blaze from police.

Nigeria had been on edge in fear of a repeat of politically motivated post-poll violence but it failed to materialise.

Defeated candidate President Goodluck Jonathan was credited with defusing tensions by conceding to Buhari even before all results were declared.

In 2011, Kano was hit by two days of rioting after Jonathan's Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the state. Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso later defected to the APC.

Read more on:    inec  |  nigeria  |  west africa  |  nigeria 2015 elections
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