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Technical problems, violence mark tense election in Nigeria

Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 01:49

Nigerians head to the polls in a tense election that's been marked with technical problems and some violence in parts of the country. Nathan Frandino reports.

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Tensions are running high in Nigeria where voters are casting ballots in what could be the closest electoral contest since the end of military rule in 1999. The election pits incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan against former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. In Lagos, delays and malfunctioning card readers led to a tedious registration process. But once anxious voters were able to cast their ballots, they felt relieved. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LAGOS RESIDENT, ROGERS TYOKEEY, SAYING: "As an individual I feel that for once our politicians will begin to take the voters and the electorate very, very seriously." Even Jonathan suffered a 40-minute delay when he went to vote. Due to the technical problems, the Independent Electoral Commission said it would extend voting until Sunday. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NATIONAL COMMISSIONER FOR VOTER EDUCATION AND PUBLICITY, CHRIS YIMOGA, SAYING: "The commission assures the voting public that it will thoroughly investigate what happened while it remains committed to the delivery of free, fair and credible elections in spite of these challenges." Violence is also threatening the election. Boko Haram insurgents and other gunmen killed at least 15 people, including an opposition politician, in the country's northeast. But despite the violence and technical problems, some voters remained confident in the election. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LAGOS RESIDENT, ELIZABETH JONES-TOBI, SAYING: "It's going to be a successful election. This election, in my own mind, in my own way of thinking it will be a success and we come out successful in Jesus name. That's it." A credible and relatively calm poll would open a new chapter in the country's history.

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Technical problems, violence mark tense election in Nigeria

Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 01:49