Polls have closed in Nigerian presidential and parliamentary elections on Saturday, Feb. 25, and vote counting is underway. The day was marked by frustration over technical issues at some polling stations in several parts of the Africa's most populous nation.
The country has introduced a new biometric anti-fraud voter accreditation system and some stations reported that the new systems arrived late, the country's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said.
“It is frustrating that INEC are not prepared for us. All we want is just to vote,” said Sylvester Iwu, who was among a large crowd waiting at a polling station in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State in the southern oil-producing Niger Delta, the Aljazzera reported.
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INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu said six of the new machines were stolen in Katsina state in the north and two in Delta state in the south.
While voting closed, many who had waited in lines for hours to vote and had not yet done so were allowed to continue to wait to cast their ballots.
Observers said that upheaval created by a redesigned currency that has left many unable to obtain bank notes. The cash shortage affected transport not only for voters but also election workers and police officers providing security, the Associated Press reported.
While voting was largely peaceful a dramatic scene unfolded in the megacity of Lagos in the mid-afternoon, the AP reported.
Associated Press journalists saw armed men pull up to the voting station in a minibus, fire shots in the air and snatch the presidential ballot box. The shots sent voters screaming and scattering for cover, and ballots strewn across the floor.
And in the northeast state of Borno, at least five people including children, were wounded when Boko Haram extremists attacked voters in Gwoza town, local authorities said.
“The threat was neutralized by the troops of the Nigerian army who responded swiftly and chased the terrorists to the mountains,” said Abdu Umar, Borno's state police commissioner.
With input from the Associated Press.