Nigerians will remember the first quarter of 2023 for many reasons, as several notable events across politics, entertainment, and culture dominated the headlines. A review of Google’s top searches during the period has revealed that INEC, Peter Obi and CBN are the top three keywords that piqued the curiosity of most Nigerians in the first three months of the year.
The now-controversial 2023 elections and the Naira redesign policy enforced by the CBN were two of the top events that dominated the Nigerian news space in the first quarter of the year, and these top three entities searched on Google played a major role in these events.
Political intrigue reached a fever pitch in February as Nigeria conducted the presidential elections. These pivotal elections determined the incoming president and Senate and House of Representatives members expected to be in office for the next four years. The gubernatorial and state house of assembly elections were also held during the first quarter of 2023.
The election period and other events brought a list of terms that Nigerians were unfamiliar with before now and needed more information to stay on top of their game through Google search to engage and participate in the conversations.
The trend list comprised individuals, entities, music, slang and even facts needed to strengthen rebuttals and arguments for and against an opponent when needed.
Among the most searched individuals, Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate, captured the top spot, ahead of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the president-elect of Nigeria. Atiku Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, claimed the fifth position.
This is not surprising considering that in the build-up to the elections, the three candidates emerged as frontrunners in the race and dominated social conversations in social spaces and physical gatherings.
INEC is 2023’s most popular entity according to Google search
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) emerged as the most searched entity between January and March, with Peter Obi and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) closely following. The CBN’s currency redesign prior to the elections undoubtedly contributed to its prominence.
As a Nigerian, it is easy to see why INEC claimed the top spot. The commission has dominated the front covers of magazines and news outlets and has even been on the lips of Nigerians for various reasons. The elections involved the use of certain technologies that needed people to get informed and generated a lot of conversations regarding its integrity.
As for music, homegrown talent took centre stage as Nigerians avidly sought out the latest tunes. Spyro‘s infectious hit, ‘Who is your guy?’ claimed the top spot, with Ruger‘s ‘Asiwaju‘ and ‘Carry me go‘ by Boy Spyce and Khaid securing second and third places, respectively.
The nation’s collective curiosity was also evident in the top trending questions, which ranged from ‘When is Easter 2023?’ and ‘When is WAEC 2023 starting?’ to ‘How to check my polling unit?’ and ‘Who is the President of Nigeria?’
Here are the complete lists of top trending searches reflecting the diverse interests of Nigerians during the first quarter of the year:
Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what Nigerians have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40,000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.