The All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO) has made a formal complaint against Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan for allegedly calling on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporters to “stone” anyone who came to Calabar asking for change.
The letter of complaint signed by the Rivers State governor and Director General of the APCPCO, Rotimi Amaechi, was today dispatched to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), among others.
“Change, as the entire country must know by now, is the slogan of the APC – the rallying cry of a political party that wishes to bring hope of greater and better things to come for Nigeria and Nigerians. By her statement, Mrs Jonathan was clearly calling on PDP supporters in Calabar to attack supporters and campaigners of the APC in the state,” Amaechi said.
According to the APCPCO, Mrs Jonathan’s statements and conduct during the ongoing political campaign brings to mind the conduct of Mrs Simone Gbagbo, wife of the former president of Cote d’Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo, prior to that country’s 2010 election. The ICC indicted Mrs Gbagbo for her part in planning to perpetrate brutal attacks, including murder, r*pe, and sexual violence, on her husband’s political opponents in the wake of the 2010 election.
“Mrs Jonathan does not occupy any formal office in the Nigerian government, as the position of First Lady is not recognised by the Nigerian constitution. But Mrs Gbagbo’s case shows the ICC’s awareness of how someone beyond formal governmental and military hierarchies can be identified as responsible for serious international crimes.”
The APCPCO pointed out that Mrs Jonathan’s incontrovertible hate speech not only contravened the laws of the land, but also went completely against the Abuja Peace Accord jointly signed by the two presidential candidates, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari and President Goodluck Jonathan.
“PDP supporters in the state who may not know better could easily yield themselves to the First Lady’s admonition and embark on a process of wanton stoning and other attacks against APC members,” said Amaechi.
The APCPCO therefore urged the police to ensure emergency measures are put in place to protect the lives and property of APC members in Calabar.