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The Election in Africa’s Most Populous Country is Shaping Up to be an Exceptional Event

Braving stressful waits, red tape and repeated visits, Nigerians are rushing to pick up their voting cards for next month’s presidential election, where three main candidates are vying to replace President Muhammadu Buhari. Nearly 10 million new voters have been registered for the February 25 ballot, of whom 84 percent are people under age 34 – a key block of ballots. But the Independent National Electoral Commission, known as INEC, also claimed 1.12 million of those new registrations were invalid. For the first time since the end of military dictatorship in 1999, a third-party candidate is presenting a real challenge to the dominance of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP). With Nigeria struggling with growing insecurity, high living costs and increasing poverty, many young voters say they are keener now to have a say about their future leader.