President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the “immediate removal” of the #BringBackJonathan 2015 signs and banners around the federal capital territory.
The publicity materials had generated widespread outrage, with many perceiving it as a mockery of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign to secure the release of the Chibok school girls still in the captivity of Boko Haram insurgents.
On Tuesday, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, issued a statement branding the signs as “offensive and repugnant” to Jonathan and Nigerians.
“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 hash tag,” read the statement.
“Jonathan appreciates the enthusiastic show of support for his administration by a broad range of stakeholders. But he condemns the #BringBackJonathan 2015 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. 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.”
Popular United States newspaper Washington Post had published a piece criticising Jonathan over the “galling” campaign, saying that although the president had not officially endorsed the hashtag or the campaign, “its seeming ubiquity suggests that he is not opposed to it.”