FACTCHECK: Jonathan’s aide championed controversial #BringBackJonathanIn2015 hashtag

Doyin Okupe, an aide to President Goodluck Jonathan on public affairs, was one of the masterminds of the controversial #BringBackJonathanIn2015 hashtag which the President disowned Wednesday, PREMIUM TIMES can report.

Mr. Jonathan had earlier today ordered the removal of banners and billboards bearing messages containing the hashtag adapted from the hugely popular #BringBackOurGirls campaign.

It is not clear at this time who created the #BringBackJonathanIn2015 hashtag, but Mr. Okupe was one of its earliest users and promoters.

Some Nigerian Twitter users indeed believe it was Mr. Okupe who created and launched the hashtag but PREMIUM TIMES is unable to independently verify that at this time.

Mr. Okupe could not be reached Wednesday to explain why he created or promoted the hashtag and whether he is now contrite after his action was deemed inappropriate even by his boss. He did not answer or return calls.

The hashtag was, however, among four different campaign hashtags the presidential aide aggressively promoted between August 20 and August 22 using his handle @doyinokupe.

On August 22, Mr. Okupe tweeted:

Earlier on August 20, the presidential aide had promoted three other hashtags. They are:

But of the four, it was the #BringBackJonathanIn2015 that caught fire on Twitter.

And before long, people believed to be presidential aides and promoters of Mr. Jonathan’s reelection bid began to use it to create campaign banners and billboards for the president.

The banners and billboards, displayed at strategic locations 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,” Mr. Tharoor wrote.

In Nigeria, the anger was more, particularly, on the social media.

When the criticism became unbearable, the president’s office released a statement Wednesday saying Mr. Jonathan found the banners “offensive and repugnant” and had ordered they be immediately removed.

The statement said, “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.

“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 #Bring Back Our Girls hash tag.

“While President Jonathan appreciates the enthusiastic show of support for his administration by a broad range of stakeholders, he condemns the #Bring Back Jonathan 2015 signs which appear to make light of the very serious national and global concern for the abducted Chibok girls.

“The President assures all Nigerians and the international community that his administration remains fully engaged with efforts to rescue the abducted girls and that he will not knowingly promote any actions that will fly in the face of the seriousness of their plight and the anguish of their families.”

It is not clear whether President Jonathan has cautioned Mr. Okupe over his action.

The Special Adviser to the President on Public Affairs, Reuben Abati, could not be reached Wednesday to comment for this story. He did not answer or return calls.


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  • Wähala

    A responsive President would not only order the removal of the offensive copy-cat hashtag, he would kick fat Doyin in the butt and out of his Administration. Another day, another blunder… after sneaking Modu Sheriff into Chad against even the advise of his defense attaché at our embassy there, the clown has little regards for credible advise. Even a drunk knows when to zip-up his fly, ours is a daily dose of disgrace and embarrassment. It took a little girl from Pakistan to convince him to console the same Chibok parents his aides are now mocking; took a reverend from farway Australia to alert Nigerians that this Govt. is behind the Boko Haram kidnappers… today, it’s taken an international outrage to compel our drunk to tear down his illegal and distasteful campaign usurpation of a popular campaign movement. Deceit and divertion are Dumbo’s trading tools… So If his kin want him back, #BringBackDumbo2HisOtuokeZoo… biko! Nigerians do not deserve this daily insult… #BikoDumpDumbo2015 make we ressi. Tufia!

    • redeem

      How can u be such a big fat fly by night liar—–for APC—–Abokin kura——-?——–the picture showing the president ati sheriff–was spread all over the news-stand———–for all to see—-it was not a secret deal———–we cannot believe an interview conducted by the publisher of thisday–himself a 419ner like u——-besides—–if he our able president- did not travel with sheriff to Chad————–who would he have journeyed to that place with————- is it tinubu he should have traveled with—–sheriff younger brother–the same father ati mother with him was killed by boko haram–his Cousin was also murdered by boko haram————after he declared that they were not welcome in his domain——-name one fulani leader whose relations were killed by boko haram– since the start of the boko haram war———————–now u allege that the Ibos being murdered in the fulani north daily by boko haram–was the brain child of yr Ibo brother Ihejirika——-the same Ihejirika that u swore with the fulanis to have him tried at the Hague for killing Muslims————abi—just hours ago—–It seems u to have erasable rabbit brain -Sheriff—–knows the terrain–and can help put the message across to the president of Chad better–cause they speak the same dailect——–with the fulani fighters in boko haram————————monkey—

      • Datti

        Doyin Okugbe ati redeem are one and the same

        • Ogom

          No.. Redeem is a much lower specie of sycophant

        • Wähala

          No! They’re not. Say what you know. @Deri aka, @redeem, was around even before fat Doyin made it into the presidency… @Deri is Ima Noboro, the former Spokeman to Lady Hippopatience when she was 2nd. Lady during UMYA days. Upon promotion and subsequent election as President by sentimental Nigerians, the Fellow-Widow deployed Deri to Sahara Reporters where quickly earned the Notorious Badge and became a career pest… just as he is here and elsewhere. Punch, Vanguard, SR and virtually every major newspaper have all stopped publishing his redundant rubbish, only PT grants him limited exposure but as you can see, he ought to be banished here as well… make we ressi biko!

        • Mosaku 147

          Of course they are.they(12nos) operate from the same office in abj.

      • Wähala

        A derailed mind you have. Alcohol damaged brain. So Americans who land at Abuja Airport and drive into town are blindfolded and do not see billboards ba? Besides, the US Info center is all over Naija, the US embassy is in Naija and in today’s info-tech age, who needs a reporter anyways? Sahara Reporters… Report Yourself! is citizen based via I-Phones etc. Village man taken to Abuja on Our-Turn-2-Chop bus from slimy riverine creeks. Near-naked aborigines shown neon lights, of course it will blind you fools in senselessness… Clowns!

    • Mosaku 147

      I would prefer the #BringBackDumbo2OtuokeZoo.but please check if Otuoke has a zoo,if not he should be taken to ogba zoo in Benin city.

  • Man_Enough

    The following facts have become clear as crystal. The president and his men are so imprudent that they did not see the infamy in the slogan until some foreign journalist had to point it out. The president is only pretending that he is not aware of the campaign which being carried out illegally before the allowed time. The denial proves otherwise. He is the mastermind of
    the campaign. From the crowd being so far recorded, the whereabouts of the $20B is not farfetched.

    • redeem

      THAT EDITORIALS WAS PENNED FOR THE FOREIGN NEWSPAPER BY APC–ASK YOURSLEF WHY THE DAILY SUDDENLY BECAME INTERESTED IN THAT RUBBISH————-ARE THE AMERICANS ATI THE BRITISH NOT HELPING TO SEARCH FOR THE CHIBOK GIRLS-

  • Scalywag

    But #BRINGBACKOUR$20BN

    • redeem

      TINUBU#BRINGBACKOUR*1.6B OIL CONTRACT

      • Ide4u

        Even at that, we still have a balance of $19bn

      • Mosaku 147

        Na only thiefnubu be your wahala.oga find better thing talk and if you no get,park properly make you allow better moto pass o jare. Always repeating yourself like a broken record.

  • Man_Enough

    If the president is that mad with okupe, he should sack him,
    or at least issue him a query.

  • Dan Fulani

    Those who God wants to destroy He first made mad.

    • Wähala

      Even the gods have gone to sleep on Dumbo…
      He has long past the state of mental illness, he has gone haywire.
      The gods need to wake up biko, this has gone into extra-time and Nigeria cannot continue to be the butt of international jokes on daily basis. Everybody does what pleases them under this drooling drunk, even fat Doyin, a supposedly learned doctor could not discern the underlying sensitivities of using a campaign slogan designed for captive girls. Truly sad that cluelessness has become infectious at the Villa. Abati nko? Professor Alkali nko…
      they weren’t this daft until they joined, #TeamDumboSycophancy… animals!

      • redeem

        Did the gods in the US go to sleep–after the kidnap of the american journalist by Syrian rebel groups?—-it took the US two solid years of hard negotiations for the American hostages to be freed————–just weeks ago–sometimes u think b4 u pen yr fulani ati Ibo janjaweeds thoughts———————I have said severally here that what u need–very urgently too———— is our sympathy——————and not condemnation——————–two American journalist–have just been publicly beheaded——————————by the vampires in control of Iraq—————ISIS———same as the fulanis led by Sanusi beheaded yr uncle Akaluka—–We did not see any American abuse president Obama–or have APC sponsor the publication of editorials in western newspapers ——————————-just days ago we saw the publisher of thisday hired——-to arrange an interview with one Mr Davis————–hours after the interview————-which thisday alleged was to have conducted on behalf of BBC–el rufai picked it up————–and celebrated it all over the national dailies–via sharia reporters——this time its the Washington Post————-that the vultures in APC relied on to attack the president———-what a shame————————————-its never sycophancy when u lend yr janjaweed support to APC ati boko haram————-its only tagged as such when we voice our support to the able president of the FRN———-Chief Achiever Jonathan—————————– cheers

        • Sahara

          Compare what is comparable.
          What you have here is illogical.
          Jonathan did not know that the 200 girls were kidnapped until his wife cried and also when the international communities complained.

        • Ide4u

          Has thisday turned against GEJ? This is a bad omen!!

        • gani

          mr redeem, i guess your case is absolutely irredeemable cos you are heedlessly headed towards self destruction, in fact, your name has no business with redemption cos ur case is just too pathetic

  • BlackieUmukoro

    This matter has been over flogged. Maybe Okupe mutted the ideal and other people followed. They followed because they believe in GEJ. Period

    • Wähala

      Doyin Okupe coined and commercialized the offensive ads bcos he thought in his crass mind that only Nigerians are watching this deadbeat Govt. It blew up in his face and if he had any decorum, he would resign with apologies to the Nigerian masses. The ridicule is viral and the bulk of the joke is because there’s no logical reasons to support a #BringbackDumbo2015 campaign rallies or ads… especially given that the girls are still held captive after 5mos!

      • BlackieUmukoro

        You and your demented cohorts abducted and hid the girls to spite GEJ. But the joke is on you now Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

    • redeem

      why is PT found of deleting commentst –which are not favorable to the janjaweeds in APC

      • Wähala

        Just as local Brown Envelope outfits are fond of deleting or even not publishing any comments critical of your creek moron… if you make sense, they will publish you, this is a serious mockery of our nation and a topic for sane minds… not drunks on Og. Kapisch?

      • BlackieUmukoro

        It is owned by APC, hence
        Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

    • Chris1408

      it’s really sad how a country like Nigeria, filled with great minds and intelligent people are ruled by the worst people in the country. They hold the country hostage and made it irrelevant in committee of nations. Nations are judged by their rulers. When Nigerians keep supporting these failed politicians because they feed from them, the country will continue to go backwards. Time to start asking for accountability folks. Don’t let your stomach take over your brain. There’s nothing to believe in GEJ and other politicians (PDP, APC or whatever political parties they belong). They are all corrupt as well as worthless and unpatriotic people.

      • BlackieUmukoro

        What are you bringing to the table. So that I cross carpet to your camp Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

        • Chris1408

          Hahahahahaha, decency, patriotism, future for the generations yet unborn, accountability, respect for fellow country people, law and order, security. Pretty much everything we currently lack. Too many to list here. Definitely not what we have today. There’s nothing to celebrate about today’s Nigeria. The Nigeria of my grand father was way better than the one of today. It shouldn’t be so “BlackieUmukoro”. We should do better.

          • BlackieUmukoro

            Your grandfather trekked, had no television, telephone, portable water or good health facilities. Abeg don’t pray to back to the days of granny, it was very harsh but peaceful anyway Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

      • redeem

        mumu how old is nigeria if nations are judged by their rulers——————–is the judgement going to start with the 4 yr rule of Jonathan————-thieves—————–u align with the fulanis to insult the president daily–the ijaw nation has contributed more to the progress of Nigeria with their resources more than any zone———-the marriage is not supposed to be a forced union————if u have been married to a woman for 40yr without a child biko try another woman————-else the fault lies with u————————-dont hide under Jonathan——————-to enable u blame yr child-less life on him——time for us to look truth in the face and say–enough is enough———————-

        • Ide4u

          Nations are judged by their rulers and their achievements. Which Nigerian ruler came in as a Ph.D holder? But what has his education and youthful age translated to in the Nigerian polity? Excuses and blame game for his failures. 40yrs of marriage gave your children. Do not blame the woman for your wayward children like Ibori, Alame, Diezani, Orerube, Etete, Douglas, Odili, Gej and their likes. These lot have constituted themselves as curses to Niger Delta and Nigeria at large

          • Alpha

            Remove Odili from that list! Please

        • Alpha

          Somebody please redeem this dum…

    • redeem

      yes but akupe should have thought it through—————it like selling Jonathan with a picture of a pig in the Fulani north————i do not even believe he did——cause these profession fault finding janjaweeds in APC can do anything-can forge——–and clone human head with ease-

      • Ogom

        Janjaweed! Janjaweed! Janjaweed! Janjaweed!

  • Isaac

    All said, the point, really, is this: the presidency of a country is not just the country’s symbol,
    but the encapsulation of the best intelligence available to the country as the pivot of society.
    The presidency is not just the president, but also the aggregate of aides and advisers appointed.
    Nothing in the Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency shows any good judgement better than crass instincts.

  • Chris1408

    GEJ is desperate to come back is 2015. He’s loves the office but clearly lacks the ability and knowledge to run the country. GEJ is clueless, unpatriotic and absolutely corrupt. Same goes with other Nigerian politicians, they are just as clueless and corrupt and will do anything to be in office to embezzle and fatten their bank accounts. It’s time for Nigerians to start asking these wicked rulers to account for our stolen wealth and stop celebrating failures and mediocrity

  • the truth

    its been over 10 hours since cnn, bbc and aljazeera reported and
    confirmed that nigerian military forces killed over 50 militants and
    have recaptured michika, uba and gulak towns even local papers like
    vanguard and daily news has carried this news. please premium times why
    haven’t you still carried the news. but i bet you the second boko haaram
    strikes a town it would be front page.

    • Enemona

      “Carried the news” Olodo!

      • the truth

        show some class. we are discussing national issues and all you could come out with is “olodo”. i would let you wallow and slumber in your own conscience. it is fascinating you didn’t address the issue i raised why it has been over 16 hours and counting since the military conquered this territories and premium times are yet to carry it. but tomorrow in less than 10 minutes after boko haram strikes a town it would be front page news.

    • Efe1

      Are news carrying monitor?

      • the truth

        sorry please communicate properly, i can’t understand you. are you saying am i a news monitor now?

  • 9jaIsFinished

    I believe Tony Uranta and Kingskey Kuku are one of the aides involved in this petty move as these two stooges are known for their sycophantic tendencies. What a shame! If Jonathan has any iota of decency in him, he should go back to his village after 2015 where he belongs as he has nothing to offer Nigerians.

  • Dr Patrick Kolawole Awosan

    President Ebele Jonathan, has demonstrates clearly his incapability,incompetency,blind-mice governance with no purposeful goals to achieve to improve the living standard of Nigerian people’s lives.President Ebele has been in the presidency since may 2010 but he has not been able to move the country forward in unity and there is no stability.If president Ebele Jonathan, has been unable to demonstrate his ability and intelligence capacity to lead Nigeria to greater height and developmental route what magic wand would president Ebele Jonathan apply if re-elected in 2015?
    Or does Ebele Jonathan think all it takes to be president of Nigeria is just junketing around the globe while Nigeria is in flame?
    Nigeria would need a complete drastic change in leadership and political and economic policies and set ultimate goal to achieve with our public funds-annual-budget from 2015.Our new president from may 29,2015 would possess excellent knowledge,experience,be a good thinker and researcher that could work on our national chronic and intractable problems and devise solutions to them and effectively implement the right solution to tackle and resolve our national vital biting problem.
    Nigeria used to be in the promising and same league of non alliance nations with Brazil and Malaysia, in the 80s and 90s and today Brazil has developed also Malaysia came to obtain palm-seeds from Nigeria in 1978 and today,Malaysia is the largest palm-oil exporter in the World and Brazil is the league of advance countries with permanent regular power supply to boost its industries and factories..
    Nigeria requires a complete new president from may 29,2015 in order to move our nation forward.We can not continue with the present state of decaying and directionless with massive corruption practices.There are sponsors of Boko Haram insurgents in the seat of power,ex-convict and looters of our commonwealth are occupying front row in the governance of our nation.Assassins and embezzlers are all loitering around the seat of power as president Ebele Jonathan’s close friends and associates.Governance has been turned on its head by Ebele Jonathan.

    .

    • redeem

      as for u -u have no brain no point attacking yr janjaweed head-joanthan has achieved more than yr yoruba father obj who was busy sleeping with his sons wife———————–and stealing g my oil wells————–nigeria is made up of 170m humans——-all of whom depend on my oil revenue to keep body and soul together

      • Ogom

        Janjaweed! Janjaweed! Janjaweed!

      • Ide4u

        Whatever GEJ has achieved in your small fish brain is dwarfed by his failure in securing the lives and properties of Nigerians which he swore to uphold. Under his watch, one third of Nigeria has been declared a caliphate by the Boko Haram terrorists which GEJ allowed to fester due to his ineptitude and indolence. Before oil was discovered in the Niger Delta, your parents and grand parents who are naturally lazy depended on The Cocoa, Cotton and Groundnut funded Federal Treasury.

  • Sahara

    If GEJ will not see this big sign post then I wonder how many things he actually sees.
    Maybe na ogogoro problem.

    • redeem

      then tell us how Washington post that has no correspondent in Nigeria saw and wrote an editorials on it-pls told us how————–was it dasuki that—-drew their attention to it———dont we know it was the janjaweeds in APC that attracted them to it be penning articles on it for the media————

      • Sahara

        You are more confused than Oga GEJ.
        Or you don follow shack Ogogoro?

        • the truth

          can you prove he drinks ogogoro, or are you the one that gave him ogogoro. this is part of the people i have always said have been hoodwinked by the biased media. this ogogoro matter first showed up in sahara reporters when dr damages made a skit on that weeks episode of my country nigeria in that episode jonathan was drinking alcohol, and what started as a skit has metamorphosed into some people’s reality. they must be happy having people like you who prey to their propoganda. i challenge you to show me a proof of jonathan drinking ogogoro or u now base your reaLITY ON PEOPLES FANTASY. shame on u

      • Abubakar Sfada

        O boy!! How many bottles of bear u drink today? U drink pass ur oga at top who carry modu Sharif for a security meeting to chard, hahaha terrorist ijaw men’s don gether, at villa, #bring back terrorist ijaw man 2015

      • Ide4u

        Who told you Washington Post has no correspondence in Nigeria? Are you not aware that The United States Information Agency has offices in Nigeria? Do you know the people working in their media divisions? Your ignorance is way too much!!!

      • Maria

        Mumu… Washington post has no correspondence in Nigeria? By the way, in the age of the global village, do you need one mumu moving from one street corner to another before you get news? Even Jonathan in his bedroom can be monitored without Washington post coming near aso villa… there are drones and satellites everywhere… go back to your village… efulefu.

      • Tamuno

        Like jonah like redeem, both idiots

        • alexiei

          Mayb na the same person sef. E b lyk say this redeem na jona o! Cos even jona pikin no go defend im papa with stupidity lyk this.

      • Sendband

        @redeem ati Deri. Whether Washington Post has a correspondent in Jona’s enclave or not, you must know that Tweeter is a global social media and it is not made in SS Nigeria.
        By the way you have not commended OBJ for allowing his son to fight and defend Asari and your likes against BH.

      • Es3

        Their correspondent in Nigeria is US based Axelrod’s propaganda company that APC hired to turn on the tempo against Jonathan as per 2015. The same company admitted to a foreign press that #BringBackOurGirls campaign is now fully in their hands while trying to show proof of their effectiveness.

        The company has working relationship with NY Tines so thick that they write some editorials for the supposedly revered news house for publication. The paper uses its existing tentacles with known names and make them comment on issues in line with their requirement as a payback or way of keeping the relationship ‘well-oiled’ and senator McCain is one of such shameless individuals!!!

        Now, since the originators of the campaign were greedy enough to sell the morality and conscience of the campaign itself, what else is there to stop others using the ‘slogan’ of a politically mortgaged and morally encumbered group like theirs?!!!

        Besides, Premium Times admitted in this report that they are suspecting that President Jonathan’s aide is involved…without any iota of proof except for the tweets from Okupe that were in the whole Nigerian public domain last month???! A very horrible way to draw conclusion and accuse another of guilt!!!

    • Mosaku 147

      E get river blindness disease from Otuoke water.

  • Maria

    Jonathan took Modu Sherif to Chad so that he(Modu Sherif) can provide security for him(Jonathan) along that Boko Haram infested route to Chad.

    • Mosaku 147

      You are a genius Maria. I never thought along this line. God bless you.

      • Jujubeans

        I second that…top point Maria

  • amazing2012

    Maria and Mosaku147, so Jonathan can not provide security for himself, he has to seek protection from a suspect of the same crime ? OK, are you saying we should also seek protection from Boko Boys by submitting ourselves, for security reason. ?

  • peter

    The President has ordered that the banners be brought down, why is PT taking it like some big issue ? The act has been retracted and all of a sudden there is ‘FACT’ . Why did the local media not bring it to public knowledge ? why did they wait for WP to criticize before they acknowledged ? They are all part of this failed act. The President has done the right thing.

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