Explosions and delays as Nigeria's presidential election finally get underway

Excitement as Osinbajo walks in Ilorin

Nigeria counts votes in closely-fought presidential election even as voting continues in some units where polling opened late or ballot machines malfunctioned.

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Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency in northeast Nigeria has killed more than 27,000 people and left 1.8 million people homeless.

According to Sahara Reporters, residents of Maiduguri are now in panic as series of explosions have rocked the city all within ten minutes.

Buhari, who is seeking re-election, has Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president as his main challenger. Voting turnout appeared to be light as authorities tried to calm panicked, skeptical residents.

" I have been voting since 1999".

INEC's Commissioner in charge of Voter Education, Festus Okoye, announced this in Abuja while giving an update on the ongoing Presidential and National Assembly elections. The president, first in line to vote in his northern hometown of Daura, jokingly checked the name on his wife's ballot.

Observers said the delay of the election from last week, blamed on logistical challenges, could favor Buhari and the ruling party, with some Nigerians saying they didn't have the money to travel to their place of registration a second time.

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Fielding questions from journalists on Channels TV on Saturday, Okoye said the onus lies on presiding officers at each polling unit to educate voters. Having come thus far and after making huge sacrifices, Nigerians will never accept any result that does not reflect the reality of their already expressed wishes and aspiration at the polls.

Despite the delays and concerns that heavy security may intimidate potential voters, Buhari described the voting process as "smooth". So we want to see a blank result sheet.

Many Nigerians said the election will be decided by economic issues after a rough term for Buhari that saw a rare, months-long recession. Police there say it was for "security purposes" and not an attack.

Recall that Legit.ng previously reported that the European Union said on Monday, February 18, that none of its Election Observation Missions in Nigeria had left the country in spite of the postponement of the elections.

The group and its offshoot, Islamic State in West Africa Province, have carried out deadly sporadic raids in the northeastern Borno state.

The card reader was reported to have failed in some polling units in different parts of the country, with the electoral officials resorting to using the voter register to authenticate the affected voters.

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