Nigeria votes in presidential poll

LAGOS - Nigerians are going to the polls to elect a president, with incumbent Goodluck Jonathan facing a strong challenge from Muhammadu Buhari.

It is said to be the most closely fought election since independence.

The election was delayed by six weeks to allow the army to recapture territory from militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

The two main presidential candidates have pledged to prevent violence during the election and its aftermath.

Despite reports of delays in some areas, election body spokesman Kayode Idowu told the AFP news agency that polling stations have opened and that "accreditation has started".

Voters need to register first using biometric cards with their fingerprints before they can cast their vote later.

At some polling stations, card readers appear to be working slowly or not at all, BBC reporters on the ground say.

President Jonathan tried for some 50 minutes to register in his home village of Otuoke. A BBC reporter at the scene says he had to come back a second time and when the electronic registration failed again, he had to be accredited manually.

Despite reports of delays in some areas, election body spokesman Kayode Idowu told the AFP news agency that polling stations have opened and that "accreditation has started".

Voters need to register first using biometric cards with their fingerprints before they can cast their vote later.

At some polling stations, card readers appear to be working slowly or not at all, BBC reporters on the ground say.

President Jonathan tried for some 50 minutes to register in his home village of Otuoke. A BBC reporter at the scene says he had to come back a second time and when the electronic registration failed again, he had to be accredited manually.

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