NIGERIA DECIDES 2011
Millions of Nigerians have taken part in Africa's biggest presidential election. Votes are
being counted in many parts of the country. President Jonathan voted in his home state of
Bayelsa, He made the following comments after voting, he said the election was a "new
dawn in Nigeria's political evolution". "If the ballot paper means nothing then there is no
democracy. Nigeria is now experiencing true democracy where we the politicians have to go
to the people," he said.Official results expected are expected on Monday 18 April 2011.
President Goodluck Jonathan's main challenger is Muhammadu Buhari, an ex-military leader
popular in the north.
Voting is reported to have generally gone smoothly, despite some reports of fraud and
incidents of violence. The polls closed at 1700 (1600 GMT), but anyone already in the queue
by then was still being permitted to vote.
According to the law, counting should start immediately at the polling stations after everyone
has voted. President Jonathan has staked his reputation on the conduct of the election,
repeatedly promising it will be free and fair.
The reports coming in from various sources say that the elections have been peaceful across
the various polling locations.
He said he was confident of victory, but that he would leave office if he lost, adding that he
hoped there would not be a run-off because elections cost a "colossal sum of money".