Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, votes for a new president on Saturday, in the most closely fought election since independence, framed by Boko Haram violence, economic woes and endemic corruption. From megacity Lagos in the Christian south to cities across the Muslim north, polling stations opened at 0700 GMT, with 68.8 million of Nigeria’s 173 million people registered to vote. His main opponent, the self-styled scourge of government graft Muhammadu Buhari, was in Daura, northern Katsina state, eyeing a democratic return to power after a spell as military ruler in the 1980s.
I cannot recall an election more important than this in the history of our nation.
President Goodluck Jonathan
Observers, from the European Union and United Nations to the African Union and United States, were in place - a sign of international interest but also to ensure a free, fair and transparent contest. Results from both the presidential and parliamentary vote being held at the same time are expected within 48 hours of polls closing, according to the electoral commission.