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Long Lines, Technical Problems Reported as Nigerians Go To The Polls

Millions of Nigerians incited out to select a new boss Saturday, with obligatory Goodluck Jonathan seeking another term, and his categorical rival, Muhammadu Buhari, arguing that corruption, unsatisfactory economy and a disaster to stifle a Boko Haram rebellion meant it was time for a change.

After a six-week delay caused by Boko Haram confidence concerns, thousands of polling stations non-stop around a country, with sparse reports of violence, delays and technical problems.

Militants pounded tools of Gombe and Bauchi states in a north, warning people not to vote. Residents of a encampment of Biri told VOA that dual people there were killed. In a southern city of Ogui, troops pronounced a automobile explosve exploded behind a polling station, yet there were no reported injuries.

Voting problems

Election officials have touted a new biometric voter label complement as word opposite a rascal allegations that have sinister prior elections. But in some places, hand-held label readers machines seemed to malfunction in reading new cards.

Many polling stations non-stop late given of delays in removing voting materials, and problems with a accreditation process.

Jonathan, who expel his opinion in a southern city of Otuoke, indispensable 30 mins to go by a process.

At one station, on a hinterland of a collateral Abuja, a VOA contributor watched officials onslaught with a card-reader machines, perplexing to determine voter fingerprints. Some staff tried  several opposite fingers for voters, perplexing them mixed times, and still not succeeding. Officials urged electorate to clean their fingers or rinse their hands to try to repair a issue.

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In Kano, a city of dual million located around 300 miles north of Abuja, a VOA contributor visited mixed polling stations Saturday morning, yet found usually one that had operative label readers. About 100 people lined adult during a stations line, watchful to expel their ballots, as good as a handful of confidence crew and agents from a electoral commission. 

Despite a delays, a opinion seemed to be move calmly.

“I consider any impulse from now a materials will be here,” voter Samuel Eke told VOA in a southern city of Port Harcourt. “You can see a unrestrained among a people. We wish to practice a vote. We have all a wish that materials were sent out to a several units. So maybe we’ll give them some time.”

Hackers, meanwhile, pounded a Web site for a Independent National Electoral Commission, a elect pronounced in a Twitter feed Saturday. A organisation job itself a Nigerian Cyber Army posted a summary warning officials not to supply a polls.

Jonathan and a statute People’s Democratic Party are confronting a tough plea from a Buhari and his antithesis backers, a All Progressives Congress.

Past elections have been injured by allegations of opinion rigging. Violence after a doubtful 2011 elections killed some 800 people.

Earlier in a week, both Jonathan and Buhari affianced to honour a outcome of a choosing as prolonged as it is “free, satisfactory and credible.”

Jonathan, who is 57, is a Christian from a Niger Delta oil segment in a south, while 72-year-old Buhari is a Muslim from a north. Pre-election polls showed a dual in a really tighten race.

Preliminary formula might be announced as early as Sunday, yet a final approved total was not approaching before Monday during a earliest.

Delayed in February

The opinion was deferred in mid-February given of fighting and distrust in a northeast where a Boko Haram rebellion has raged given 2009. The government’s inability to stop a Islamist nonconformist organisation was a vital emanate during a campaign.

Security opposite Nigeria has been tightened heading adult to a choosing amid concerns insurgents could conflict polling stations.

In new weeks, a multinational descent gathering Boko Haram from many of a towns it tranquil in a northeast. On Friday, a Nigerian troops pronounced soldiers took behind a city of Gwoza and broken a domicile of Boko Haram’s self-declared caliphate.

U.S. comprehension officials voiced counsel about a report, observant that even if a militants had retreated, it does not indispensably meant they are nearby defeat.

Intelligence officials told VOA that Boko Haram has used vital retreats in a past usually to wait, infrequently for weeks or more, for an event to launch a harmful opposite attack.

Chris Stein reported from Kano, Nigeria.

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