Nigerian president takes huge lead in vote

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Nigerian incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan cast his ballot in Otuoke, Nigeria, Saturday, April 16. / AP Photo/Godwin Omoigui

ABUJA, Nigeria – Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan took a nearly insurmountable lead Sunday in the election to lead the oil-rich nation, though fragmented returns suggested the Christian incumbent faced strong opposition from the country’s Muslim north.

Meanwhile, authorities in the vice president’s northern Nigerian hometown said that eight people had been wounded in a bomb blast at a hotel in a poor neighborhood hours after voters cast their ballots in the otherwise peaceful election.

Certified results from the Independent National Electoral Commission released from Saturday’s election showed Jonathan had 19.4 million votes out of a total of 31.1 million already counted. His nearest opponent, former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, held 8.7 million votes.

Results from eight of Nigeria’s 36 states have yet to be formally announced in Abuja, the country’s capital. While those states have enough votes to seize the lead from Jonathan, it appears unlikely Buhari will be able to salvage a victory.

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