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Hate speech: APC to file complaint against Patience Jonathan to ICC

By The Citizen
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The presidential campaign organisation of the All Progressives Congress has reported the wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, to the International Criminal Court.

Two weeks ago, Patience had, while campaigning for her husband in Calabar, Cross River State, told the supporters of the PDP to stone anyone canvassing for change in the state.

The campaign organisation said the letter of complaint was signed by its Director-General, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, who is the Governor of River State.

It said that the letter would be delivered to ICC on Monday (today), adding that the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, and the National Human Rights Commission would also be sent copies of the letter.

'Change, as the entire country knows 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 the PDP supporters in Calabar to attack supporters and campaigners of the APC in the state,' it said.

The campaign organisation likened some of Patient's statements to those of Simone, the wife of a former President of Cote d'Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo, prior to the francophone country's 2010 elections.

The ICC indicted Mrs. Gbagbo for her part in planning to perpetrate brutal attacks, including murder, rape, and sexual violence, on her husband's political opponents in the wake of the 2010 elections.

'Mrs. Jonathan does not occupy any formal office in the Nigerian government as the position of the 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.

'Patience 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, Muhammadu Buhari and President Goodluck Jonathan - a gesture which is aimed at forestalling violence before, during and after the 2015 elections.

'The 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 the APC members.'