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Nigerian Election Extended Following Technical Difficulties at Polls

© AP Photo / Jerome DelaNigerians wait for to register before voting in Jere, some 60 kilometers (40 miles) from the capital Abuja, Nigeria Saturday, March 28, 2015
Nigerians wait for to register before voting in Jere, some 60 kilometers (40 miles) from the capital Abuja, Nigeria Saturday, March 28, 2015 - Sputnik International
Nigerian election officials decided to extend the voting period in Saturday's general election after issues with voter registration machines caused delays at polls.

Voting in Nigeria's general election has been extended by another 24 hours after technical problems with the new voter registration system caused delays in the voting process.

Nigeria's incumbent presidential candidate, Goodluck Jonathan, was unable to vote on Saturday after three different registration machines failed to verify him for over 30 minutes. Other polls had similar problems, and voting often started after many-hour delays. The election was also marred by Boko Haram attacks with gunmen killing six voters in northeastern Yobe and Gombe states.

Officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission move electoral materials to the polling booths in Otuoke, Bayelsa State March 28, 2015 - Sputnik International
Nigeria Braces for Violence as Voting Begins
The attacks came after the two main candidates pledged to prevent violence during and in the aftermath of the elections. On Thursday Goodluck Jonathan and the main opposition leader, General Muhammadu Buhari, have signed a peace agreement promising to respect the outcome of a credible poll and urging their supporters to refrain from violence.

On Saturday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Nigeria's presidential candidates to resolve possible post-election disputes by peaceful means noting that the results of 2011 Nigeria's general elections triggered a wave of nationwide violent protests which left over 800 people dead.

The date of Nigeria elections was postponed until March 28 from initially set February 14 to allow the national army to recapture territory from the Islamist militants of Boko Haram — terrorist group which currently controls several towns in northeastern Nigeria and initiated its military operations in the country in 2009 to impose Islamic rule.

Millions of Nigerians reportedly turned out Saturday to vote in country's presidential election. The incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan from People's Democratic Party is seeking second term in office and enjoys a vast support in the predominantly Christian south. However, Jonathan has faced criticism over his failure to defeat Boko Haram insurgency in country's north.

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