Why Patience Jonathan may not visit northern Nigeria for votes

Dame Patience Jonathan

Daniels Ekugo

Patience Jonathan, wife of Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, who is campaigning for the re-election of her husband, has avoided the northern part of the country following her hate speeches against the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, General Muhammadu Buhari.

Instead of the First Lady leading the campaign team, wife of the Vice President, Hajiya Amina Namadi Sambo, has been having a huge task standing in for Patience Jonathan.

Patience was absent in Minna, Niger State capital and Adamawa State during the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, campaigns recently.

PDP stalwarts in the north are worried about Patience and Femi Fani-Kayode’s hate campaigns and the possible backlash in the north is what Patience is trying to avoid.

Jibrin Aminu, a stalwart of the PDP was quoted as saying: “I think we have a problem, some issues to clear up as fast as we could. We had Fani-Kayode to contend with over hate speeches and advertorials, and recently the First Lady who described the opposition presidential aspirant as ‘brain dead’ to worry about. And as party faithful, we deem it necessary not to allow her go to the north for the rallies, you don’t know what will happen.”

According to Aminu, the First Lady never got it good going by the way she has presented herself and as me and you know, the northerners, even if they are in PDP or the APC, won’t take insults on their kingmakers, leaders or revered gentlemen and it is a good thing she doesn’t come here as there are people ready to start the stoning from here.”

Hate speeches by the First Lady, Femi Fani-Kayode and Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State have further divided the party. This has led to the PDP begging its National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu not to quit the party, as northern PDP members are no longer comfortable with the way the trio are going about their attack on Buhari.

Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, had challenged President Goodluck Jonathan to denounce what he called “hate speeches” by his wife, Patience and others that could lead to violence ahead of the elections scheduled for March 28 and April 11.

Fashola made the statement during a courtesy visit by the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, Professor Chidi Odinkalu, at the Lagos House, Marina to seek the governor’s support on the need to avoid violence and ensure free and fair contest in the forthcoming elections.

The governor lamented that the ‘hate Speeches’ made in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidates had created panic in the country, saying “People are leaving the country out of fear.”

Emirs and chiefs, after a one-day emergency meeting at the old Lugard Hall, Kaduna, also called on politicians, and elder statesmen to desist from making inflammatory statements that could jeopardise the nation’s democracy.

Under the aegis of the Northern Traditional Council, the royal fathers, in a communique, signed by the Estu-Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, on behalf of the Chairman of the Council and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, expressed concern over the escalating tension before the general elections.

Because of the persistent hate speeches, the All Progressive Congress’ (APC) Presidential Campaign Organisation reported Patience Jonathan to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The First Lady while campaigning recently for President Goodluck Jonathan in Calabar, told PDP supporters to stone anyone campaigning for change in the state. As a result, APC campaign organisation wrote a letter of complaint to the ICC, signed by its Director-General, Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi.

However, Fani-Kayode, Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, said that Patience will not appear before ICC.

“Dame Patience Jonathan is a woman of peace. She did not threaten anyone with violence; she did not incite anyone to commit violence or to kill others and her words have not resulted in death, mass murder or any crimes against humanity,” he said.