APC drags First Lady to ICC over campaign comments
THE All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO) on Sunday said it had formally written the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged incisive comments credited to Dame Patience Jonathan at a campaign rally in Calabar.
The First Lady had reportedly told supporters of her Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to “stone” anyone who came to the state asking for change.
APCPCO’s Director General and Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon Rotimi Amaechi, will Monday dispatch ICC the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police (IG) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), among others.
Justifying the initiative, APCPCO noted: “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.”
The APCPCO likened some of Mrs. Jonathan’s inciting statements and conduct during this political campaign season, to those 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, rape, and sexual violence, on her husband’s political opponents in the wake of the 2010 election.
It posited that 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.
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