Tension: Cross River SDP threatens legal action over exclusion

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There is tension in Cross River Central Senatorial District following the omission of the Social Democratic Party’s (SDP) logo in the ballot papers during Saturday’s, presidential and National Assembly elections.

Daily Sun observed that the SDP Horse logo was conspicuously missing from the senatorial ballot papers distributed across the various polling units of six local government areas that make up the zone.

Sources close to the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) office, in Calabar, told Daily Sun 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 central, thereby, causing the disenfranchisement of those who wanted to vote for the omitted candidate.

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At Abi, where the SDP candidate, Solomon Esor, hails from, his supporters were seen at some polling units looking crestfallen over his omission in the race.

Some of the party agents were seen discussing in muddled voices what would 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 embarrassment to the party and its candidate.

Reacting to the development, the central senatorial candidate of SDP, Esor, said the party had complained earlier “when INEC published the list of cleared candidates and we observed that our candidate’s name was published in the North, instead of Central.”

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Esor said the national secretariat immediately wrote to INEC and complained, and the electoral body later apologised.

“Again, it repeated itself on election day proper, and our supporters couldn’t exercise their franchise, as our party’s logo did not appear on the ballot paper.

“My supporters couldn’t believe it, and I don’t know why the mistake was repeated after we had written. We should be compensated for the embarrassments and disenfranchising of our supporters. We’ve concluded plans to drag INEC to court, for the fraud because I personally wrote to them, notifying them about the error,” he said.

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