By Christian Njoku
Residents of Calabar has refused to vote in the ongoing presidential and senatorial election due to a shortage of ballot Papers for the senatorial election.
The residents who were registered voters of RCC Round About Polling Unit in Ward Six, Calabar Municipality said no voting would take place in the polling unit until the ballot Papers were complete.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) Mrs Gloria Asuquo an elderly female voter said they came out as early as 8am but waited until 11am before the electoral materials arrived.
Asuquo said when they came, they announced to them that the ballot Papers for the senatorial election were short by 350 pieces, we refused to accept that and decided not to vote until the ballot Papers are completed.
“How can you tell us that the materials are not complete when people are all here waiting to vote, what happened to the remaining ballot Papers.
“We are no longer blind, without complete ballot papers, nobody is voting in this polling unit or else we will scatter everything,” she said.
Similarly, Mr Effiong Moses said the polling unit was in the heart of the town, so, saying that ballot papers were short was playing politics with the rights of Nigerians.
However, in a swift response, Prof. Gabriel Yomere, Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who visited the polling unit went to the state office of the commission and brought more ballot Papers.
When he returned to the Polling Unit with more ballot Papers, there was a rapturous cheer and voting commenced, this was at about 12 noon.
Yomere said the shortage was just a human error as the materials came late and in the process of hurriedly sorting them out the mistake was made.
“We have enough ballot papers, the challenge is that of the Nigerian factor where these materials don’t come in time and when they do, INEC officials have just a day or two to sort them out for all the polling units in the state,” he said. (NAN)