Jonathan orders removal of offensive #BringBackGoodluck2015 banners

BringBackGoodluckPresident Goodluck Jonathan has directed that the #BringBackGoodluck2015 signs and banners around Abuja be brought down immediately.

A statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, Wednesday claims Jonathan finds the slogan “offensive and repugnant”.

That will be a hard sell as many Nigerians believe the group behind the campaign, Goodluck Initiative for Transformation (GIFT), has the tacit approval of the President.

The Presidency’s reaction may not be unconnected to the editorial in the Washington Post, which reads in part, “It was the social media campaign of the year. #BringBackOurGirls awoke the world to the ravages of Boko Haram, an al-Qaeda-linked terror group in Nigeria, and the plight of the millions of people who live in the midst of their insurgency.

“At the heart of the message were hundreds of missing schoolgirls, abducted in April from the remote village of Chibok by Boko Haram fighters who vowed to turn them into slaves.

“The #BringBackOurGirls hostage channelled sympathy from abroad and local outrage and concern in Nigeria, with many angry at the government of President Goodluck Jonathan for being unable to free the captured women.

“In this context, the new campaign slogan is particularly galling. Jonathan has not brought back the girls, yet his campaign expects Nigeria to bring him back to power. One wonders if it will spawn more rich satire among Nigerians on social media. After all, there’s plenty of precedent,”

Abati’s statement said “President Jonathan wholly shares the widely expressed view that the signs which were put up without his knowledge or approval are a highly insensitive parody of the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag.

“While President Jonathan appreciates the enthusiastic show of support for his administration by a broad range of stakeholders, he condemns the #BringBackGoodluck2015 signs which appear to make light of the very serious national and global concern for the abducted Chibok girls.

“The President assures all Nigerians and the international community that his administration remains fully engaged with efforts to rescue the abducted girls and that he will not knowingly promote any actions that will fly in the face of the seriousness of their plight and the anguish of their families.”