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Goodluck Jonathan prepares for crucial vote in Nigeria

Goodluck Jonathan is losing support and opposition parties are gaining ground. Nigeria's ruling party may face what could be its first serious challenge in holding onto power.

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A vendor sell drinks to motorists as he walks past a lorry with election campaign banners depicting Nigeria's incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, in Lagos, Nigeria, on April 13.

Sunday Alamba/AP

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Voters in Africa's most populous nation will soon choose whether to allow the man who inherited the Nigerian presidency last year to stay in office.

But with President Goodluck Jonathan losing support and opposition parties gaining ground, Nigeria's ruling party on Saturday faces what could be its first serious challenge in holding onto power.

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Many hope the vote will help Nigeria atone for years of marred polls since it became a democracy only 12 years ago.

However, elections in the past have brought out violence and thuggery across Nigeria, which is a crucial supplier of crude oil to the United States.

Last weekend's legislative elections widely took place without the intimidation and rigging seen in previous polls, though bombings struck the country's northeast.