Jonathan bows to pressure, orders dismantling of #BringBackJonathan2015 banners

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President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the immediate removal of the #BringBackGoodluck2015 banners, a hashtag promoted for his re-election, an adaptation of the popular #BringBackOurGirls, following a global outcry against the action.

A statement released by the president’s office Wednesday said that Jonathan found the banners “offensive and repugnant” and had ordered they be immediately removed.

“President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has directed that the #Bring Back Jonathan 2015 signs and banners around Abuja which he and many Nigerians find offensive and repugnant be brought down immediately,” the statement said.

The banners, displayed at strategic positions in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, triggered swift reactions in Nigeria and abroad, with critical articles appearing in international media outlets, including the BBC and the Washington Post.

The #BringBackOurGirls Twitter hashtag was coined to help galvanise international support for the release of nearly 300 schoolgirls abducted April 14 in Chibok, Borno State, by extremist sect, Boko Haram.

While more than 200 of the girls remain in captivity, the campaign became a rallying point and is deemed amongst the social media’s most popular campaigns yet.

Washington Post’s columnist, Ishaan Tharoor, described the #BringBackJonathan2015 hashtag for a government that has failed to rescue the girls nearly five months after, as likely the “most inappropriate hashtag of the year”.

“It’s not clear whether Jonathan has officially endorsed the new hashtag, but its seeming ubiquity suggests that he is not opposed to it,” Tharoor wrote.

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