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Nigeria: Presidential poll hit by bloodshed and technical glitches

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Nigeria: Presidential poll hit by bloodshed and technical glitches


Violence was feared in Nigeria’s presidential poll and isolated
incidents have occurred from north to south, with car bombs and attacks on the military and voters that have left several people dead.

It follows threats by Boko Haram Islamists to sabotage the ballot.

But the biggest disruption to Saturday’s election, including for sitting President Goodluck Jonathan, has stemmed from technical problems with the electronic accreditation system. He had several failed attempts to register.

There were no such complications for his rival, former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, in what is seen as the closest presidential race since the end of military rule in 1999.

Tension will remain after the poll.

Post-election violence in 2011 when Jonathan, a Christian from the south, defeated Buhari, a Muslim from the north, left some 800 people dead.

For now, delays in voting have caused frustration for those trying to exercise their democratic rights.

“I came here at around 7 am and we were told that by 8 am every process should have started. But I think it is past 8 am now and nothing is happening,” said Aliu Nurudeen, a resident of the capital Abuja.

Despite sometimes many hours of waiting, Nigerians are determined to have their say in a ballot already delayed by six weeks amid security concerns.

But some will have to show yet more patience. Due to technical issues, polling has been suspended in the worst-hit places where it will continue on Sunday.

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