Buhari defeats Atiku in Obasanjo's polling unit

About 120,000 polling stations opened early across Africa's most populous nation with results expected early next week.

Security sources meanwhile reported clashes between the military and suspected Boko Haram fighters in Auno, on the border of Borno state with neighbouring Yobe.

Boko Haram's insurgency in northeast Nigeria has killed more than 27,000 people and left 1.8 million homeless, creating a humanitarian crisis.

"We are right now running and hiding in the bushes."Around the same time a Reuters witness said blasts were heard in Maiduguri, the capital of the neighboring state of Borno".

Polls open at 0700 GMT, with President Muhammadu Buhari, a former army general who has vowed to defeat the jihadists, seeking a second term.

A coalition of civic groups says multiple polling units across Nigeria have not opened more than four hours after the official start of the voting.

Fradgley said that all the EU Election Observation Missions were on ground to observe the presidential and National Assembly as well as the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections shifted to February 23 and March 9, respectively. Voting turnout appeared to be light as authorities tried to calm panicked, skeptical residents.

President Muhammadu Buhari Friday urged Nigerians "to go out and vote", promising there would be adequate security for Saturday's postponed election that puts him in a tight race with businessman Atiku Abubakar.

"I look forward to a successful transition", he said.

This election has shown President Buhari and in particular, certain individuals in Lagos state, who thought that they were emperors, that the will of the people is bigger than them. The president, first in line to vote in his northern hometown of Daura, jokingly checked the name on his wife's ballot.

It marked the third time in row that a vote has been delayed in Nigeria. So we want to see a blank result sheet.

Nigerians have begun voting in a presidential election one week after a surprise last-minute delay blamed on logistical challenges.

More than 84 million voters registered to take part in the elections.

North-east Nigeria has faced a rising number of terror-related attacks by offshoot Islamic State in West Africa Province, as jihadist group Boko Haram continues its long-standing rebellion to overthrow the government.

  • Joey Payne