The electoral commission postponed voting
because of problems with electronic card
readers – new technology intended to
There was also some violence with more
than 20 people reportedly killed in attacks
by unknown gunmen.
It is expected to be a closely fought election
between President Goodluck Jonathan and
Mr Jonathan and at least three governors
from his ruling party were among those
whose biometric details could not be
checked by the new devices.
Instead, they had to be processed by hand.
Mr Jonathan’s Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP) called it a “huge national
embarrassment” and a “vindication” of their
position against the technology.
“There should have been a test-run for a
smaller election before deploying it for an
election of this magnitude,” said Mr
Jonathan’s presidential campaign
spokesman Femi Fani-Kayode.
The election as it happened.
Voters have to validate their voting cards
using a fingerprint reader
About 300 polling units were affected by
technical difficulties, a spokesman said
About 300 polling units out of about
150,000 were affected, a spokesman for the
Independent National Electoral Commission
The vote had been delayed by six weeks
because of the insurgency by militants from
the islamist group, Boko Haram.
Both the main candidates had pledged to
prevent violence during and in the
aftermath of the elections.
But several hours after voting started,
reports came in of attacks at polling
Attacks were reported in north-eastern
Gombe state, including incidents where
gunmen opened fire on voters at polling
Nigeria at a glance:
Two main presidential candidates:
Muhammadu Buhari, All Progressives
Congress (APC), Muslim northerner, ex-
military ruler, fourth presidential bid
Goodluck Jonathan, People’s Democratic
Party (PDP), Christian southerner, incumbent
president, second-term bid
Years of military rule ended in 1999 and
the PDP has been in power ever since
Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and
leading oil producer
With a population of more than 170m, it
is also Africa’s most populous nation
Nigeria decides 2015: Full coverage
It is unclear whether the attacks were the
work of Boko Haram militants or political
However, Mr Jonathan told the BBC’s Peter
Okwoche that most of the violence in
Gombe was not directly related to the
“The war against terrorists is going on,
voting or no voting,” he said. “There was a
conflict, kind of a crossfire, between soldiers
and terrorists that had nothing to do with
At polling stations where voting was closed,
officials began counting votes – with
blackouts forcing some to use torches or car
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has
dominated Nigerian politics since 1999, but
Gen Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC)
is viewed as a serious challenge.
Voters are also electing members of the
house of representatives and the senate.