After a barrage of attack by Nigerians and the international community on Nigeria's President Jonathan Goodluck over the use of the #BringBackGoodluck2015 campaign slogan which was seen as a direct mockery of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign to draw the attention of the authorities to the plight of the kidnapped Chibok girls by the Boko haram sect, the president ordered that the offensive billboards that dotted the streets of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, be brought down and also said he did not know anything about it, many people have come out to declare that the president must have been aware of the posters and only lied to cover his face in the face of the attacks he recieved.
The Presidential spokesperson, Dr. Reuben Abati had explained that the offensive slogan was used by supporters without the President's knowledge but those who have kicked against the denial point out to the fact that it was actually the President's Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, who came up with the slogan and has been promoting the hashtag since August. Dr. Okupe had been tweeting the slogan, #BringBackJonathanIn2015…4continuity, long before the posters came up. The message was retweeted several times without any objection from Jonathan.
They also point out that the billboards had been erected since the middle of August and that there was no way the President would not be aware of it or his attention not brought to it. They say that the denial came a bit too late and only a knee jerk reaction, an aftermath of the attack the presidency suffered.
One of the consistent critique of the administration, former Minister of the FCT and APC stalwart, Nasir El-Rufai, had tweeted the following:
What did Okupe mean by tweeting this? Where did GEJ go, to be brought back - Sambisa Forest? - insensitive, foolish!
With all these, those who are of the view that the President must have been aware of the slogan, argue that the denial is really in bad taste.
Former Minister of Education and a key driver of the #BringBackOurGirls group, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, also labelled the Presidential team as liars and duplicitous after Jonathan disowned the #BringBackJonathan hashtag. She reminded Nigerians that Okupe “generated that callous hashtag and tweeted it for many days.”