On the eve of Nigeria’s elections, President Muhammadu Buhari has sought to calm fears about election security, promising voters a safe ballot.

On Saturday, Nigerians will choose between Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, both in their 70s.

The two top contenders have run for presidency nine times.

Tensions have increased since last Saturday, when the electoral commission postponed the vote at the eleventh hour, citing logistical difficulties.

Past general elections have experienced violence since the country returned to civilian rule after years of military rule.

According to politicians and civil society groups the vote delay could depress turnout.

That in turn would reduce the mandate of the eventual winner to rule Africa’s most populous country and one of its biggest economies.

Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party have accused each other of conspiring with the commission to rig the result.

Buhari ensured the electorate that adequate security measures were in place.

But Abubakar said Buhari was paying lip service to democracy after he revealed he had ordered security services to be ruthless with vote-riggers and ballot snatchers.

Buhari is seeking a second term of office but is facing a strong challenge from Abubakar a former vice-president.

Over 84 million people have been registered to vote. Parliamentary elections will be held at the same time.

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