Nigeria voting staggers amid delays

April 21, 2007 at 10:50 PM
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ABUJA, Nigeria, April 21 (UPI) -- Nigeria's presidential election Saturday appears to have been riddled with fraud and irregularity, with results skewed in favor of the ruling party.

In one rural district, villagers said they had been kept away from the polls, The New York Times said. But the official tally showed a turnout of 100 percent of close to it, with most of the votes going to the People's Democratic Party.

"They sent us away, all of us," said Mikailu Musa, a farmer in Dandume who planned to vote for an opposition candidate. "There was no election here."

The presidential ballots also had vital information missing, the Times said.

In the capital, Abuja, there was a botched attempt to bomb the headquarters of the electoral commission. A truck loaded with explosives was pointed toward the building, the driver jumping out and leaving a rock on the accelerator. But the explosives failed to detonate.

President Olusegun Obasanjo finishes his second term May 29, requiring him to leave office. Some Nigerians hoped the election would be the first time power passed peacefully in Nigeria from one head of state to the next, the newspaper said.

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