NIGERIAN voters have collected 86.6 percent of all the voting cards issued, the chairman of the electoral commission said on Thursday.
Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), told election observers and reporters that 72.8 million cards had been collected out of 84 million registered voters.
The presidential vote, which was postponed by a week from the original February 16 date, is seen as a direct contest between incumbent Muhammadu Buhari and former vice-president Atiku Abubakar.
Whilst Atiku is calling on Nigerians to replicate the 2015 feat of kicking out an incumbent, Buhari is asking voters to retain the administration to continue with its mandate.
‘Tomorrow, the polls open. Tomorrow, we affirm that Nigeria stands as a democracy and that no worldly hand can deter us from this wise and fitting path we have chosen for ourselves.
‘While democracy is the most beneficial way to select a nation’s leaders, it is far from the easiest thing to achieve and maintain.
‘It requires a combination of patience, tolerance, compassion, diligence, wisdom and hope. These traits exist in us the Nigerian people. Because of who we are, democracy has the chance to flourish in this land,’ Buhari said in his final message issued Friday morning.
Official campaigning has ended for the observance of a 24-hour period before polls open. Buhari leads the All Progressives Congress,APC, with Atiku as candidate for the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.