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The World

December 13, 1987

Nigerian voters went to the polls for local elections, the first step in a return to civilian rule in Africa's most populous nation. But shortages of ballots, ballot boxes and envelopes produced long delays. Voting was extended for one hour in Lagos, the capital, and hundreds of youths roamed the city's streets waving pieces of smashed voting booths to protest alleged voting irregularities. Officials said they may void some contests because of fraud. The military government led by President Ibrahim Babangida had pictured the vote, the first since 1983, as an important test for its plans to return power to civilians in 1992.

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