September 10, 2014.
By: Temitope Ben-Ajepe
When I first saw this hash tag on Twitter, my immediate response was what I coined as my title.
Seriously? What I say when I am desperately begging for something to be unreal; faux, a mirage of sorts but as it appears, it is real as the large ass pimple on my cupid’s bow.
Hell naw… the signature growl that expresses my unbelief of an alarming level of depravity, bone crushing despair and fiery anger all rolled into one.
Who is the fool?
Whenever I say that Ogbeni Jonathan is as clueless as they come (and I do say so very often), this is exactly what I mean. Agreed, there is no way to determine if Mr. President has endorsed this campaign — yet — but his continued silence on the matter, despite the ubiquity of the large bill boards springing up in every corner of Abuja (I know this thanks to Twitter) convinces me that he has no problem(s) at all with it whatsoever.
If you’re a Nigerian or a citizen of the world at large, you would be able to understand the emotion(s) that went and continues to go into the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. As I type this, it has already been 148 days since over two hundred girls were abducted from their school premises by Boko Haram fighters. The leader of this terrorist group, some Shekau guy who surprisingly owns an iphone, promised to sell the abducted girls into slavery. And while there were a few lucky girls who managed to escape, we know very well that these girls have been turned into sex slaves. And then again, the female suicide bombers that were becoming increasingly popular at some point readily come to mind. The morale of this story? Goodluck (I’d say this again, his luck is only good for himself and bad for every one else) and his administration haven’t brought back these girls so why should we bring him back?
Washington Post describes it as the most inappropraite hash tag of the year, I really don’t think so. I think that this is a fine case in point of what exactly GEJ and his kitchen cabinet can do right. NOTHING. I am not even going to bring up Mrs. Goodluck’s pathetic attempt at trying to sympathize with and “do the families of the affected girls a favor” of helping get the minors back. She ought to have some maternal instinct in her to portray a more convincing spectacle at least for cheese cakes! It must run in the family but I digress.
So for starters, I’d like to know who exactly the brain behind this campaign is. I salute the effort to get actively involved on and pass a message via social media. After all, hash tags are the in-thing these days. What a hash tag can do…my God! So yes, I get it. A hash tag is definitely the way to go. Clearly, you lacked originality and creativity to generate a fresh idea so you chose to recycle an already existent one. It’s nothing new really, I’ve always known Nigerian politicians to take one of God’s songs and substitute His name with theirs.
But of all hash tags, it just had to be the #BringBackOurGirls hash tag though? What next? Would we have pictures of Banger Lee and his household of rejects holding up placards saying #BringBackGoodluck2015 all up in our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook? Should we expect even more whack celebrities to hold up these placards?
Maybe, just maybe this campaign was intended to focus on making a little good out of bad press. There is no bad press, common knowledge. But honestly, you and I both know that the only good that could ever come out of this hash tag would be if Jonathan actually brought back said girls. I’m not even a campaigns person (even though I’m seriously considering a career here in light of this, so hit me up if you’re looking. Seriously.) and I’m affirmative that that is what’s needed to be done (S/O to Olivia Pope, this is what my gut just told me).
And then again, what is with your boss’ I’m guessing “macho pose” on the ad? Forgive me, but since I’m used to seeing him don his black kaftan and “Mr. Duke” hat (what’s it called really?), I don’t understand the change of wardrobe. Is he supposed to be more personable now? Sort of, kinda like the guy next door? I’m sorry, you lost me. I see the bit about him having no shoes can’t fly this time around. Because guess what, I saw an old photo where he did have shoes in fact. Should this depict him as strong, you know, with all that muscle on display? Can he honestly save Nigeria? I think not.
Someone please fetch him his hat. It’s his signature thing…the one thing he’s consistent with.
Look, I get that a lot of money (obviously!), time and effort went into this. But you know what? This genuinely angers me and I’m guessing a lot more mentally stable Nigerians. Why? Your work is an uncouth and cheap move done in really bad taste. Has your boss no feelings — empathy or sympathy at most — for the families of, and the girls he was sworn into office to protect? I’m really not feeling this, in a good way, that is. So do us all a favor…