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Nigeria’s Jonathan calls for peaceful vote

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– Too close to call –

Jonathan and Buhari on Thursday again pledged themselves to non-violence and to abide by the results.

The president on Friday called on all parties to do the same, warning citizens that “the eyes of the entire world are on us.

“We must therefore comport ourselves in a manner that will further strengthen our democracy and consolidate our place in the comity of truly democratic nations.”

He added: “Let us go out tomorrow to vote peacefully and set a fitting example of political maturity for other emerging democracies to follow.”

Election observers from across the world, including the European Union, the United States, African Union and the west African bloc ECOWAS are in Nigeria to monitor the vote.

US President Barack Obama this week sent a video message to Nigerians, calling for them to reject violence and instead seize a “historic opportunity” for progress.

The UN’s special representative to west Africa, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, said the signs were that the contest was too close to call.

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“That’s good for Nigerian democracy but at the same time, because there’s so much at stake, obviously it’s heated up the political environment,” he told AFP in Abuja.

The election was delayed by six weeks from February 14 on the grounds that soldiers fighting Boko Haram Islamists in the northeast would not be available to provide security nationwide.

Jonathan said in his address that troops had “successfully stemmed the seizure of Nigerian territories” and “recaptured most of the communities and territories formerly occupied by the insurgents”.

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