In an exceedingly bizarre — and insulting — campaign for re-election, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan‘s hashtag #BringBackGoodluck2015 has been widely panned as being in poor taste and an overall slap in the face to the still-unfulfilled #BringBackOurGirls campaign, where nearly 300 students were abducted by Boko Haram in April. On Wednesday, President Jonathan demanded that the hashtag be removed from all visible banners and signs, but the order came only after it galvanized a vitriolic backlash on Twitter, underscoring that the President continues to be both deaf and blind to the needs and sensitivities of his people.
The #BringBackGoodluck2015 was reportedly started by the Goodluck Initiative for Transformation. On August 30th, the organization reportedly tweeted:
“There is no vacancy in Aso rock [the president’s palace] we want Goodluck Jonathan again #NigeriansDemand #BringBackJonathan2015.”
According to published reports, it wasn’t long before the hashtag popped up on banners and signs throughout the Nigerian capital of Abuja — even though it supposedly wasn’t endorsed by the President.
Not surprisingly, the insensitive hashtag ignited a firestorm of criticism on Twitter:
— Olúsèyí (@SeyiMafolabomi) September 9, 2014
And even Al Jazeera journalist Femi Oke weighed in with:
— Femi Oke (@FemiOke) September 9, 2014
And while President Jonathan did indeed call the hashtag both “offensive and repugnant” in his press release, many critics see the fact that he took this long to denounce the hashtag as likely the biggest offense of all:
— Bukola Saraki (APC) (@bukolasaraki) September 10, 2014
— The Faisal Tanko (@Iam_fais) September 10, 2014
— KingMoocky (@9jaobserver) September 10, 2014
Japheth Omojuwa, columnist of Nigerian newspaper Punch, told the BBC incredulously, “These are people that failed to secure the release of these girls over 150 days since their kidnap.”