Bola Ahmed Tinubu (C), presidential candidate for Nigeria's All Progressives Congress, accompanied by his wife, Oluremi Tinubu, makes his way through the crowd after casting his vote on Saturday. Photo by Akintunde Akinleye/EPA-EFE
Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Turnout was high and some violence was reported as Nigerians went to the polls on Saturday to elect a new president in Africa's most populous democracy.
For the first time since 1999, three candidates have a legitimate chance to be chosen as successor to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress party candidate, has said that it's his turn for the presidency. His rival from the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, is making his sixth bid for the office.
However, this year the Labour Party's Peter Obi has emerged as a viable alternative for those wanting a third candidate.
"It's going to be different this time, we have three people," Friday Ikwuako, a school employee waiting to vote in the affluent Ikoyi district of Lagos, told Radio France International. "We want a change in government."
Aliko Dangote, Africa's richest person, said he was impressed with the early voting turnout.
"The turnout is very, very impressive," he told Channels TV after voting in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial hub. "I've been voting since 1999 when we returned to democracy and this time around I've seen much more than the usual times."
Lagos State Police Commissioner Idowu Owohunwa said some arrests had been made after incidents of violence as voting got underway.
"I can confirm that several arrests have been made but at this moment it is still an ongoing process," he told national media, while adding that most of the electoral process had been peaceful.
For a winner to be declared, a candidate must not only get the most votes overall but also poll at least 25% in two-thirds of Nigeria's 36 states.
If no candidate wins, a runoff will take place within 21 days between the two frontrunners.