Thousands of people have fled their homes in northern Nigeria after riots prompted by the election victory of incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.

In some towns residents slept in police stations for safety. The Red Cross says there have been significant numbers of casualties.

Mr. Jonathan appealed for an end to the violence and imposed a 24-hour curfew.

His main rival General Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner, told the BBC the violence was sad, unwarranted and criminal.

International journalist Jefferson Sackey who is in Nigeria has told Joy News the violence reduced following General Buhari’s comment.

Until the former head of state’s condemnation of the violence, youth believed to be supporters of his party had attacked every building bearing party colours of the governing PDP.

Jefferson Sackey reported General Buhari as saying the violence was not motivated by ethnic or religious considerations.

Source: Joy News/Ghana