Oil prices spiked in the wake of violence that followed what should have been a good news story: Nigeria, for the first time, held an election to turn over power from one civilian president to another.

Hopes that the election of Umaru Yar'Adua would bring some political stability to a country torn by violence and corruption were quickly dashed. Reports of stuffed ballot boxes, padlocked polling places and other shenanigans in the April 21 election led to clashes that left about 200 people dead. Within days, world oil prices had surged amid uncertainty about the political future of Nigeria, which is Africa's most populous country and the world's eighth leading supplier of oil.

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