Vote counting begins in Nigeria's delayed presidential election

Excitement as Osinbajo walks in Ilorin

Nigeria's leader says many feared 'the worst' after vote delay

President Muhammadu Buhari and his main challenger, businessman Atiku Abubakar, both said they were confident of victory when casting their ballots in an election which has already been delayed by a week.

The chairman advised eligible voters to visit gotomypu.ng to obtain location to their polling units, saying in the last 10 days about 190,000 persons had utilised the commission's various social media platforms to geolacate their Polling Units.

Atiku polled 1030 votes to defeat President Buhari who polled 1013 votes.

A statement by Borno state police says Boko Haram extremists "attempted to infiltrate" the state capital by launching artillery fire, likely to disrupt the elections.

Buhari, a former military ruler who was later elected president, is seeking a second term in charge of Africa's most populous nation and top crude producer.

Shortly before polls opened, a series of blasts rocked the northeastern city of Maiduguri, which has been repeatedly hit by Boko Haram Islamists.

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The army also confirmed a "futile" attack on a security outpost in Geidam in Yobe state.

Nigerians "are behaving themselves", the president said.

"There are some areas that need some attention especially on the delay in the time of commencement of voting".

Many Nigerians said the election will be decided by economic issues after a rough term for Buhari that saw a rare, months-long recession.

Mrs Buhari got cleared to vote before her husband but Buhari was seen looking at her ballot before he proceeded into the booth to cast his ballot.

Gunfire also has been heard in parts of Port Harcourt in the restive south, where the military presence is said to be heavier than in past elections.

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Witnesses and security officials told reporters an attack in Borno on a governor's convoy on route to an election rally on February 12 was deadlier than the government had said. He previously pledged to accept the results, provided they are credible.

Security is also a major concern; in the northeast, the Boko Haram insurgency continues, and in central Nigeria, herder-farmer conflicts over land and grazing rights have cost hundreds of lives.

However, in Lagos' business district of Victoria Island, Reginald Anthony, 45, who runs a transport business, said: "We are seeing a transparent election, everything is open for everyone to see".

Residents of Maiduguri, Borno state are said to be anxious about their safety, especially with the presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled to begin in less than two hours. "I will congratulate myself".

There were also sporadic incidents of snatching election materials, said police spokesman Nnamdi Omoni.

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