World

Nigerians wait in hope and fear for results of tightly contested presidential vote

  • Members of the congregation raise their hands in celebration and prayer during a sermon at the Banner of Life bible church in the mainly Christian Sabon Gari neighborhood of Kano, northern Nigeria on Palm Sunday, March 29, 2015. Many churches in the area were only half-full on Sunday, due to large numbers of Christians leaving before the elections, fearing violence and retribution after election results will be announced in the predominantly Muslim town. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

    Members of the congregation raise their hands in celebration and prayer during a sermon at the Banner of Life bible church in the mainly Christian Sabon Gari neighborhood of Kano, northern Nigeria on Palm Sunday, March 29, 2015. Many churches in the area were only half-full on Sunday, due to large numbers of Christians leaving before the elections, fearing violence and retribution after election results will be announced in the predominantly Muslim town. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Two women walk down a deserted street with roadblocks at the end leading to the St Charles Catholic Church, scene of a 2014 bomb attack blamed on Boko Haram Islamic insurgents, in the mainly Christian Sabon Gari neighborhood of Kano, northern Nigeria on Palm Sunday, March 29, 2015. Normally the church would be packed with up to four masses on Palm Sunday, but this year it held only one which was half-full, due to large numbers of Christians leaving before the elections, fearing violence and retribution after election results will be announced in the predominantly Muslim town. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

    Two women walk down a deserted street with roadblocks at the end leading to the St Charles Catholic Church, scene of a 2014 bomb attack blamed on Boko Haram Islamic insurgents, in the mainly Christian Sabon Gari neighborhood of Kano, northern Nigeria on Palm Sunday, March 29, 2015. Normally the church would be packed with up to four masses on Palm Sunday, but this year it held only one which was half-full, due to large numbers of Christians leaving before the elections, fearing violence and retribution after election results will be announced in the predominantly Muslim town. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Two youths ride bicycles past a mural on a school wall and election posters supporting President Goodluck Jonathan, on a street in Kano, Nigeria Sunday, March 29, 2015. Voting in Nigeria's elections continued in certain areas on Sunday after technical problems prevented some people from casting their ballots on Saturday and despite extremist violence in the northeast and protests in the south. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

    Two youths ride bicycles past a mural on a school wall and election posters supporting President Goodluck Jonathan, on a street in Kano, Nigeria Sunday, March 29, 2015. Voting in Nigeria's elections continued in certain areas on Sunday after technical problems prevented some people from casting their ballots on Saturday and despite extremist violence in the northeast and protests in the south. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)  (The Associated Press)

Nigerians are waiting in hope and fear for results of the most tightly contested presidential election in the nation's turbulent history. Collation of results starts at noon (1100 GMT). Results are expected later Monday.

One radio station played the song written by entertainment star 2Face Idibia: "Vote not fight; Election no be war!"

In relative peace, millions voted on Saturday and tens of thousands Sunday despite technical glitches, deadly attacks on northeastern polling stations by Islamic extremists and political thuggery in the south.

Fears center on violence erupting once results are announced in the high-stakes contest to govern Africa's most populous and richest nation. President Goodluck Jonathan is challenged by former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari. More than 1,000 people died in northern riots after Buhari lost to Jonathan in 2011.