More Nigerians are coming out to condemn President Goodluck Jonathan over the #BringBackGoodluck2015 printed by his supporters on large banners and posted around Abuja for his 2015 re-election campaign.
Among the latest persons to lambast the president on the issue is the convener of the #BringBackOurGirls group, Obiageli Ezekwesili.
The former Nigeria’s Education Ministe lambasted the presidency over its claim that President Jonathan was unaware the famous #BringBackOurGirls hashtag had been modified for his re-election bid.
It would be recalled that Jonathan on Wednesday, 10 September, 2014, ordered the removal of the #BringBackGoodluck2015 printed by his supporters on large banners and posted around Abuja for days.
Premium Times reports that Jonathan gave the directive after the banners had drawn widespread condemnation from Nigerians home and abroad.
President Jonathan called the posts ‘repugnant’, according to a statement released by Reuben Abati, a presidential spokesperson.
Abati claimed the president was unaware of the hashtags for the days they circulated on social media, and even after they appeared on banners printed by his supporters.
According to Premium Times, the mock hashtag may have been generated by another presidential spokesperson, Doyin Okupe.
It informed that Okupe was one of the first persons to tweet the hashtag.
Reacting on the issue on her official Tweeter account, Ezekwesili accused both Abati and Okupe of “deceit” and “incompetence”.
“The inhumanity of that hashtag was too much for one to bear and so steadfastly ignored it…But this DECEIT by@abati1990 cannot be ignored,” Ezekwesili tweeted.
The former minister called the presidential aides “liars and duplicitous beings” in her other tweets.
“LIARS and Duplicitous beings. @abati1990: President Jonathan orders removal of offensive Bring Back Jonathan Signs ,” she said.
Ezekwesili accused Abati of incompetence in his effort to dissociate the hashtag likely created by Okupe.
“Also incompetent, @abati1990 dissociating the Presidency from a hashtag that was GLEEFULLY CREATED by the President’s spokesman @doyinokupe,” she said.
Also commenting on the matter, the Head, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, urged President Jonathan to investigate and discipline whoever used the #BringBackGoodluck2015 hashtag for his re-election campaign.
“The president should go a step further to investigate who generated that hashtag, it was highly irresponsible, he should order for a probe so that next time other people will not do same,” he said.
The Executive Director, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, Mumuni Tokunbo, said it was illegal for any group to have started such political campaign especially when the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has not authorised political campaigns.
“The campaign for any election must commence legally upon the declarations of INEC, nobody is expected to jump the gun,” Mr. Tokunbo said.
It would be recalled that the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag was generated by a Nigerian lawyer, Ibrahim Abdullahi, after the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from their dormitory in Chibok, Borno on 14 April, 2014 by the Boko Haram insurgents.
The hashtag drew massive international attention to the fate of the girls even though some of them are yet to regain their freedom from their captors after five months in captivity.