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Nigeria polling stations open


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Nigeria polling stations open

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NIGERIA – Polling stations have opened in Nigeria for Africa’s biggest presidential election, with incumbent Goodluck Jonathan seen as frontrunner.
His main challenge is expected to come from Muhammadu Buhari, an ex-military leader popular in the north.
Before the polling stations opened there were two explosions in the north-east city of Maiduguri, though no injuries have been reported.
Voters have begun registering, and voting will start at 1230 (1130 GMT).
Mr Jonathan has staked his reputation on the conduct of the election, repeatedly promising it will be free and fair.
Africa’s largest oil producer has long been plagued by corruption and has a history of vote fraud and violence.
In Maiduguri, an explosion tore through the election commission’s local office on Friday night, and there was another blast at a police station early today.
The city, in Borno state, was also hit by bomb blasts during the parliamentary election a week ago.
But elsewhere in Borno – one of Nigeria’s poorest areas – officials said the voter registration process was running smoothly.
“Everything’s going well. People are co-operating, there is security, there are ballot papers. I think this is best election ever,” a presiding officer told the BBC.
Voters expressed hope that the election would be fairer than previous votes.
Williams Beacher, a voter in Kano, said he had confidence in the new election chiefs.
“In previous elections, before we finish casting our vote, the national result had already been announced,” he said. (BBC)

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