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Nigerians turn out en masse to vote in tightly contested presidential election

  • Nigerians wait for to register before voting in Jere, some 60 kilometers (40 miles) from the capital Abuja, Nigeria Saturday, March 28, 2015. Nigerians are going to the polls on Saturday to vote in presidential elections. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    Nigerians wait for to register before voting in Jere, some 60 kilometers (40 miles) from the capital Abuja, Nigeria Saturday, March 28, 2015. Nigerians are going to the polls on Saturday to vote in presidential elections. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

  • Opposition candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, center, arrives to validate his voting card using a fingerprint reader, prior to casting his vote later in the day, in his home town of Daura, Nigeria Saturday, March 28, 2015. Nigerians went to the polls Saturday in presidential elections which analysts say will be the most tightly contested in the history of Africa's richest nation and its largest democracy. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

    Opposition candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, center, arrives to validate his voting card using a fingerprint reader, prior to casting his vote later in the day, in his home town of Daura, Nigeria Saturday, March 28, 2015. Nigerians went to the polls Saturday in presidential elections which analysts say will be the most tightly contested in the history of Africa's richest nation and its largest democracy. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Nigerians wait for election officials to arrive at a polling station after the scheduled time for opening in Jere, some 60 kilometers (40 miles) from the capital Abuja, Nigeria Saturday, March 28, 2015. Nigerians are going to the polls on Saturday to vote in presidential elections. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    Nigerians wait for election officials to arrive at a polling station after the scheduled time for opening in Jere, some 60 kilometers (40 miles) from the capital Abuja, Nigeria Saturday, March 28, 2015. Nigerians are going to the polls on Saturday to vote in presidential elections. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

Nigerians are turnin out en masse to vote in a presidential election that analysts say is too close to call.

Good-humored voters smiled when electoral officials arrived late at many polling stations where registration was to start at 8 a.m. Saturday, followed by voting from 1:30 p.m.

Nearly 60 million voters are registered for the first election in Nigeria's history where an opposition candidate has a realistic chance of defeating a sitting president.

President Goodluck Jonathan and former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari are front-runners among 14 candidates seeking to govern Africa's most populous nation, which is beset by a northeastern Islamic uprising.

Dozens have been killed in pre-election violence, though leading candidates signed a peace pledge. Some 1,000 people were killed in rioting after Buhari lost to Jonathan in 2011.