PDP asks ICC to arrest El-Rufai over ‘body bags” remarks
• Owuru, Mitee Berate Kaduna Gov.
• TMG Cautions Against Inflammatory Rhetoric
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the International Criminal Court of Justice (ICCJ) in Hague (Netherlands) to immediately arrest Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, for prosecution over remarks that threatened the international election observers.
To Hope Democratic Party presidential candidate, Ambrose Owuru, el-Rufai’s “contentious statement” mirrors “the view and calculation of the inner caucus of the ruling government in power judging from his earlier insistence and vocal demand that the Chief Justice of Nigeria Walter Onnoghen should resign over allegation against the jurist.”
National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, who made the call at a party rally in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, said: “with your mandate, there will be no killing anymore in Benue. When APC Government came in 2015, the killings started with Benue, they got to Taraba, to Plateau and now Zamfara.
“Yesterday (Thursday), we went to Katsina, there were killings in eight local governments areas. That is the President’s home state. The killing is so much in Nigeria. When you vote and you defend your vote, you have stopped the killings, poverty, and hunger in the land” he added.
On the need for the ICC to arrest el-Rufai, the PDP boss said: “You are aware that the Governor of Kaduna State has said that people will be killed and carried in body bags. And we must stand because they cannot kill us. The international community is aware”
He assured that Atiku Abubakar would create jobs for the teeming youths because he has done it before and he will do it again.Owuru noted that it was obvious the threat is to cow the international community to conform and look away from the compromised electoral system and rigged election. He stressed that no democratic election can come from an already compromised electoral system and when the president has refused to sign into law the parliamentary passed electoral reform bills that would have guaranteed a democratic free and fair election through electronic collation and transmission of election results.
Similarly, the Initiative for Credible Elections (ICE) convener, Ledum Mitee described the threat by el-Rufai as a hate speech and highly condemnable.
Mitee who led thousands of youths through the streets of Port Harcourt in procession in support of a violence free and credible elections in Rivers State and the country, said the threat should be a cause of concern to any well meaning individuals interested in transparent elections.
“Violence has been the excuse given by many businesses that have run away from the state. We believe that if we have credible elections those who had run away would come back and that will create employment. We want Rivers State to flourish once again. Ours is to preach peace and diminish the number of youths that might be lured into violence,” he said.Meanwhile, the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) a coalition of over 400 civic organisations, has caustioned against Inflammatory Rhetorics.
In a statement signed by the Chairperson of the group, Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, she said such morbid and inflammatory rhetorics could be used as justification for attacks on many well meaning Nigerians and international observers who have come to support the democratic process in the country. She called on the relevant agencies including security agencies and the National Human Rights Commission to investigate and document these comments, which constitute infractions on the electoral laws. “Elites like El Rufai, who have many options for escape will not be the victims when the unplanned effect of such rhetoric snowballs into a crisis, which could undermine peace and security, before, during and after the polls” TMG said.
The group added that, apart from the fact that such unguarded statements could incite violence, thereby undermining the integrity of the elections, they could also affect participation by the electorate, especially excluded and marginalised groups, including women, and people living with disabilities.
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