The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) supporters in Cross River have raised alarm over the distortion of the party’s logo on the ballot paper.
A cross section of NNPP party faithful who spoke after the elections, alleged that there were some discrepancies in the party logo on the ballot paper which made it difficult for people to cast their votes rightly.
NNPP gubernatorial candidate for Cross River Wilfred Bonse noted that the logo was completely defaced, adding that the experience was quite horrendous.
“Very unfortunately, the NNPP was not represented on the ballot papers as should have been. I struggled very hard to even recognise as a candidate of the party at the level of the gubernatorial position the logo of the NNPP.
“The NNPP logo is a basket of fruits, but I unfortunately found a mixed coloured basket not of fruits but probably something that looked like one or two yams without even NNPP written under.
“That’s a fiasco, total fiasco. Even when some of our candidates and agents were trying to capture it on picture and videos as evidence, they were attacked.
“So, this is a very big gang up and conspiracy if you like against the NNPP. The other parties have their logos clearly stated. “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for instance had the umbrella well captured, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and even the Labour Party (LP).
“I struggled very hard to find ours and bearing in mind that one is not supposed to start teaching people on the election ground how to locate your logo. So, the experience we had today was quite horrendous,” he said.
Bonse urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to come clean, adding that the situation was not acceptable by NNPP.
He said, “This is not acceptable and some of the videos which have gone viral captured our party members being attacked, particularly our senatorial candidate, Carolyn Williams Okem for attempting to take photos of the ballot papers.
“Her phone was being confiscated when she also tried to do a video of what the NNPP logo on the ballot paper looked like.”
Cross River North Senatorial Candidate of the party, Carolyn Williams Okem, said there was an intentional attempt to sabotage the effort of the party by INEC and some unscrupulous agents.
“I think we were sabotaged because firstly, my party logo didn’t even look like my party logo.
“Then when you go to the House of Representatives and Presidential elections, the party logo was totally different.
“It had stars on it, a complete contrast to our party’s authentic logo which has a fruit basket. “So, alot of our supporters and voters were confused because they couldn’t recognise the party logo and it brought alot of chaos and instability in the voting process,” she said.
Okem also revealed that were pockets of violence in some wards and some irregularities recorded in the area.
In his reaction, INEC, Assistant Electoral Officer for Ogoja, Simon Akpa, said he was not aware of the issue as it had not been formally reported to INEC.
Akpa, however, said that if the report was true and what was obtainable not just in Ogoja but also in other parts of the country, then the party had the constitutional right to file an official complain to INEC for further investigation.
The Presidential and National Assembly elections were largely peaceful in Ogoja Local Government Area of Cross River on Saturday February 25, 2023.