U.S. President Joe Biden called on Thursday for Nigeria’s presidential election on Saturday to be peaceful and transparent.
The U.S. president also urged candidates and parties to accept the results as announced by the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Nigerians are set on Saturday to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections that are seen as the most wide-open since Africa’s most populous nation switched from military rule to democracy in 1999.
Of the 18 candidates vying to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, three stand a chance.
Former Lagos Governor Bola Tinubu, 70, the ruling party (All Progressives Congress) candidate; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar (Peoples Democratic Party), 76, the main opposition candidate; Peter Obi (Labour Party), 61, a challenger popular among young voters.
More than 93 million people are registered to vote.
There will be about 176,600 polling stations across the country, including in camps for people displaced by the conflict between Islamist insurgents and federal troops in the northeast.
INEC says it has taken measures to ensure this election will be free and fair – a major concern in a country with a long history of electoral discord and violence.