By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor
Popularity is relative. It can take positive or negative directions. The major factor is to have activities that would generate interests.
That, apparently, could be why, as the year 2019 gradually winds down, Presidential Candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the last general election and ex Vice president of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, a young hip hop artiste, Adeyemi Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley and leader of Nigerian Union of Road Transport workers, in Lagos, Musiliu Akinsanya, generally known as Mc Oluomo are most popular Nigerians on Google’s reckoning.
They were the most searched Nigerians on the Search Engine’s platform in 2019. It means that among over 200 million Nigerians, people from all over the world were more curious to connect with the activities surrounding these individuals in the year under review.
If popularity were only rated in positive terms, apparently none of the celebrated would have made the list, considering many other Nigerians that carried out activities that impacted others more meaningfully in the year. But, that is not the Google’s way. Its rating is based on the traffic each individual generated throughout the year and the number of people that sought to connect with their profiles and activities.
In fact, the popularity of each Google celebrant for the year ending, may not be unconnected with certain developments around them which made headline news across the world from the beginning of the year.
Atiku apparently became a subject to search on google when his ambition to win the last presidential election in February, resulted in the opposition alleging that he was not a Nigerian but Cameroonian. The issue which started like a joke, became a subject of litigation in court, and apparently, many people around the world sought to know more about the profile of a former Nigerian Vice President who eventually is being alleged to hail from another country.
Naira Marley, is a popularly Nigerian musician, no doubt. But his brand or genre of music, appears to appeal to only the youth and couldn’t have generated so much interest in him, considering that other musicians in that category like, Wizkid, Davido, Burner Boy among others, are making greater waves both in the country and abroad, than Marley.
So the popularity that kept him on top of Google’s most searched Nigerians in 2019, could not be unconnected with when a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, ordered that Marley be remanded in prison custody after his arraignment before the court in May, on 11 counts charge of alleged credit card fraud.
Despite the negative outlook of the allegation, a lot of youths were trooping to the court demanding the release of their idol. This alone could attract a deeper search into the profile of a young musician whose fame among the youths could not wane, despite allegations of credit card fraud.
Mc Oluomo, is popular among noticeable street urchins, area boys popularly known as agberos and perhaps a few politicians who depend on his strong command of influence among Lagos youths during elections. But that is as far as it goes. His popularity, in this regard, may not even cut the bug in other Nigerian cities outside Lagos, but Oluoma stands firm in Google’s rating of most popular searched Nigerians on its platform.
It may not also be unconnected to a near fatal and tragic incident that happened in January, during Lagos APC campaign flag-off, where f ormer Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode was expected to reel out his achievements and state why he thinks present governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was the best man to succeed him.
Out of the blues, Oluomo who was prominent in the campaign arrangement was surprisingly stabbed in the neck by unknown persons despite a water tight security and hordes of youths that usually surround him.
The man who could be described as the head of agberos, (touts), was immediately whisked abroad for treatment, raising so much curiosity about how a person of such class could get such a five-star treatment.
The issue generated several newspaper headlines and was constantly in the news until he returned to Nigeria hale and hearty, shortly before the governorship elections in March.
Besides these people, there were also lots of major trending activities in Nigeria which preoccupied peoples’ minds thereby taking them to search for more, using the search engine, Google. They ranged from sports to education and entertainment, among others.
Google said that this year, top trending news search is the news of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU strike, which took the highest place over other trending news topics like ‘AFCON 2019’.
Also, Actress Regina Daniels, was said to be the most searched actor, ranking over other actors like Genevieve Nnaji, Tonto Dikeh and Hadiza Gabon among others.
Daniels, a 20 year old Actress recently got married to a multi millionaire politician, Ned Nwoko, who is said to be almost thrice her age. It generated a lot of interests and the young Actress commanded front page headlines in local and international news platforms. Another trending news that attracted Google’s rating was xenophobia – a senseless attack on Nigerians and other nationals in South Africa.
This is also as popular songs like Joro by wizkid, Dangote by Burner Boy, Risky by Davido, Woske by Olamide and Billionaire by Teni also attracted top interests among searchers on Google in 2019.