Judex Okoro, Calabar
There is tension in Cross River Central senatorial zone following the omission of SDP logo in the ballot papers during the Saturday, February 23 presidential and National Assembly elections.
Our correspondent who monitored the election within the zone, observed that the SDP horse logo was conspicuously missing from the senatorial ballot papers distributed across the various polling units of six local areas that make up the zone.
Sources close to INEC office in Calabar told our correspondent that the people in charge might have mistakenly taken it to the northern senatorial zone where SDP has no senatorial candidate while that of North was taken to the Central, thereby causing the disenfranchisement of those who wanted to vote for the omitted candidate.
At Abi, where the SDP candidate, Solomon Esor, hails from, his supporters were seen at some polling units looking crestfallen over the omission of their son in the race.
Some of the party agents were seen discussing in muffled voices regarding what could become the faith of their candidate.
Party sources disclosed that the leadership is reviewing the situation with a view to instituting a legal action for embarrassing the party and its candidate.
Reacting to the development, the Central senatorial candidate of SDP, Mr Esor, said the party had complained earlier when INEC published the list of cleared candidates. “We observed that our candidate name was published in the North instead of Central.”
Esor said that the national secretariat immediately wrote to INEC and complained and later its apologised.
“Again, it repeated itself on election proper and our supporters couldn’t exercise their franchise as our party logo did not appear on the ballot paper and candidate was frustrated.
“My supporters couldn’t believe it and I don’t know why the mistake after we had written. We should be compensated for the embarrassments and disenfranchising our supporters.
“We have concluded plans to drag INEC to the court for the fraud because I personally wrote to them notifying them about the error,” he stated.