A milestone anniversary, calls to shut down an allegedly brutal police department, and state election results were among the top trending Google searches in Nigeria during October.
These searches partially crossed over into the most asked questions, which concerned a leading activist, the whereabouts of the president, and the winner of Big Brother Nigeria.
On 1 October, Nigeria celebrated the 60th anniversary of its independence from Great Britain. What would ideally have been a day of celebration instead turned into a day of protest across the country’s major cities as people expressed their anger over corruption and increases to petrol and electricity prices. Nigeria Independence Day was, nonetheless, the top search for the month.
Protests continued throughout the month as the #EndSARS campaign gained momentum. The campaign called for the disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigerian Police.
After SARS was disbanded, protests have continued over police brutality and other issues. As the protests dominated news headlines, online interest grew. As a result, “end sars” was the second most searched term for the month.
Staying with politics, “Ondo election result” was the third most popular term for the month. The poll saw Oluwarotimi Akeredolu reelected as governor of Ondo state.
Despite heavy criticism from opposition parties, the incumbent, Rotimi Akerodolu of the APC amassed 292,830 votes and took 15 of 18 LGAs in the state to emerge winner. Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP got 195,791 votes and 3 LGAs to emerge runner up.
Other topics trending in October included actress Eniola Badmus, who was falsely rumoured to have been shot during the #EndSARS protests; activist Aisha Yesufu, who has been at the centre of the protests; and rapper Lil Frosh, who was arrested in early October for the alleged assault on his girlfriend Gift Camille.
These were the top 10 searches for the month:
1. Nigeria Independence Day
3. Ondo election result
Other top searches include: Eniola Badmus, Aisha Yesufu, Lil Frosh, Cavani, Room 306, Boyfriend day and Soro soke / soro soke meaning.
Yesefu also featured among the most asked questions for the month, topping the list. Nigerians were also keen to know where President Muhammadu Buhari was. The national leader, who is frequently overseas for medical treatment, waited days before addressing Nigerians on the protest, before finally urging citizens to spurn the protestors’ efforts.
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