While Nigerians were ushering in the New Year, outspoken Catholic Priest, Father Ejike Mbaka was calling on Nigerians to usher President Goodluck Jonathan out of office come election time.
His reason? The President had surrounded himself with so many corrupt officers, he could no longer see the terrible price the Masses were paying. The reactions to the YouTube video which has now attracted almost 400,000 views was mixed.
Still, the top trending search in Nigeria was Nollywood actor Muna Obiekwe who succumbed to a kidney ailment on January 18. His death sent shockwaves through the Nollywood establishment and the rest of the country followed suit in asking “Why”.Expectedly, many NIgerians rushed online to read the story which has now only eased slightly. Obiekwe has been laid to rest and is survived by his Wife and two young Children.
Also topping the list of trending searches in Nigeria is the French Satirical Weekly Charlie Hebdo which made headlines when two Islamist gunmen invaded the weekly paper’s Paris offices and unleashed torrents of bullets, blood and death, leaving 12 dead, many more injured. This sparked the birth of the phrase “I am Charlie” or “Je suis Charlie” (in French) that was widely adopted by supporters of free speech and freedom of expression everywhere.
Back home, the certificate saga involving General Muhammadu Buhari, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC took a new turn with the Army announcing it didn’t have the said document. Although the results have now been publicly released, there are still a perjury court case instituted by the ruling PDP claiming General Buhari lied under-oath about the whereabouts of his certificate.
While the primary actors duelled on the major issues, the social media space got introduced to the charm of Zahra Buhari when she was “unveiled” in a series of photos on a popular Nigerian blog in January, the effect was seismic as the young miss added 4,000 followers on her Twitter account without uttering a single word. Zahra has since shown she has a voice to go with the looks and the courage to court controversy by publicly defending her Father over his alleged “Cert Scam” and accusing the powers that be of backhanded electioneering. And yes, many Nigerians are adding ogling to their Googling.
Ogled too was Mr. Innocent “2face” Idibia, former Plantashun boy and frequent maker of hit music. Caught on camera “lip-syncing” with his 3-time Baby Mama, Pero Adeniyi at the aptly-named Rumours Nightclub circa January 26.
Given that the title of “Mrs. Idibia” still belonged to Annie McCauley, their Collabo brought some harsh focus on the Idibia household and if all was well. 2face Baba may have wanted us to believe “Nothing dey happen” but “Wetin dey happen?”, asked a million Googlers.
Meanwhile, another music man was enjoying publicity of a decidedly more positive slant. For the Fans of Wizkid, “Ojuelegba” was a welcome departure from the usual Wizkid-dish song – a lucid stroll down memory lane to the City that never sleeps and the struggling years, people and events that helped shape his career.
And the fans waited with bated breath for the video of this hit track on his Ayo(Joy) Album – on January 5, they exhaled majorly with satisfaction and the video has racked up more than 500, 000 views on YouTube alone.
As Ojuelegba seized the air waves, an On-Air Personality signed off and this time, it’s radio Presenter, Olumayowa Orisatola who passed on in the early hours of January 16. Nicknamed Aditu after the popular show he anchored and which aired in several states in the Southwest, he was said to have succumbed to a brief illness.
Sun re O!
Alas, death was still in the air, this time across the desert in the middle-eastern direction. Reigning from 2005 to his demise on January 23, King Abdullah AKA Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia was, to many of his Subjects, reformist but mainly in intent. The major part of his agenda to thrust his desert kingdom into the 21st century remains unexecuted.
He enjoyed a better profile in the West, however as he was the leading regional ally of America and major European nations in their war on terrorist sects like Al Qaeda and ISIS.
His death at 90 sparked renewed interest in his life and times and the prosperous but shadowy kingdom he led.
Over in the US of A, the life and times of another man who prospered in the shadows was fast becoming a multimedia sensation. The book was a bestseller, the movie was making a killing at the box office and the trial of his alleged killer was grabbing the headlines. The name Chris Kyle was on the lips of millions across the world and is still a top Google search. Who was he? Oh, just an “American Sniper” with a 160 confirmed killings on his resume.
When President Goodluck Ebelechukwu Jonathan wielded the S-word in January in an attempt to convey his Administration’s resolve to handover, as expected, on May 29, 2015, more than a few Nigerians went A Googl