At least two people were killed in a suspected Boko Haram attack on polling stations in northeast Nigeria on Saturday, residents and an election official told AFP.
The attacks happened in the villages of Birin Bolawa and Birin Fulani in the Nafada district of Gombe state, which has been repeatedly targeted by the Islamists.
An election official, who requested anonymity, said: “We could hear the gunmen shouting, ‘Didn’t we warn you about staying away from (the) election?’,” the election official said, requesting anonymity.
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video message last month that the militants would disrupt the election, which they see as “un-Islamic”.
“This election will not be held even if we are dead. Even if we are not alive, Allah will not allow you to do it,” he said.
The threat and a spate of suicide attacks and bombings against “soft” targets in restive northern Nigeria have prompted the authorities to impose tight security across the country.
The election official said the masked gunmen arrived in Birin Bolawa in a pickup truck at about 8:30 am (0730 GMT), just after accreditation for Saturday’s presidential election had begun.
One voter was shot dead and others fled in panic.
“They set fire to all the election materials we abandoned as we escaped,” he added.
Karim Jauro, a resident of Birin Fulani said the second attack happened at about 9:15 am, adding that had they known about the earlier shooting they would have abandoned the polling station.
“As soon as people saw them they began to run away but the gunmen opened fire on the polling station, killing one man,” he said.
“They burnt the election materials. We strongly believe they are Boko Haram who have been warning people not to participate in the elections.”