The slogan is an echo of the #BringBackOurGirls social-media campaign that grew in response to the abduction in April of more than 200 schoolgirls by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
Jonathan has ordered the “signs and banners around Abuja which he and many Nigerians find offensive and repugnant be brought down immediately,” presidential spokesman Reuben Abati said in a statement posted on his website. “President 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 hashtag.”
Jonathan, 56, hasn’t said whether he intends to run for re-election in a vote set for Feb. 14. His People’s Democratic Party, in power since military rule ended in the West African oil-producing nation in 1999, will be challenged by the All Progressives Congress, formed in the merger of the country’s biggest opposition parties last year.
Doyin Okupe, another presidential spokesman, posted “#BringBackJonathanIn2015” on his Twitter account on Aug. 22.
The pro-Jonathan campaign has been widely scorned on Twitter. User @samsteve10k said it was “useless, sad, inhuman, insane, heartless, disrespectful,” and @FemiOke described it as the “winner of most insensitive hashtag.”
Boko Haram, which took up arms in 2009, kidnapped the girls from a school in the northeast of the country, and threatened to sell them into slavery. The abduction sparked international outrage and drew assistance from countries including the U.S. and the U.K. in the search effort. Most of the girls are still missing.