The 2023 elections may have officially ended but the season left us with a long list of new vocabulary or you could say street slangs that may likely stay with us for a long time.
Throughout the campaign period, we saw how young Nigerians turned campaign slogans, phrases, expressions and gaffes from politicians into social media memes, slangs and even made hit songs out of them. With the elections now over, we have compiled a list of the new phrases that added some comic relief to the tense elections.
1. Ellu P
Peter Obi’s emergence as the Labour Party’s presidential candidate was one of the reasons many young Nigerians actively participated in the election, the excitement of seeing him poll large number of votes on the election day sparked the Ellu P (LP) chant from a voter Stephen Mouka at a polling unit in Lagos as the votes were being counted.
As Mouka screamed Ellu Pee, other voters responded with the number of votes Obi had polled while the INEC officials continued counting. From the moment the video footage from the polling unit went viral on the internet, social media memes and skits have been made from Mouka’s stylised version of Ellu P (LP).
2. Emi Lokan
Emi Lokan a Yoruba phrase that means ‘It’s my turn’ also became another defining phrase during the election after Nigeria’s President-Elect, Bola Tinubu, used the phrase while speaking with his party’s delegates in Abeokuta, Ogun state, on on Thursday, June 2, 2022., 2022, ahead of the APC’s presidential primaries.
“It’s been over 25 years now that I’ve been serving them…bring the presidency. It’s my turn! I also want to be president,” Tinubu said in his now famous Abeokuta declaration that also took a swipe at President Muhamamdu Buhari whom Tinubu said wouldn’t have won his 2015 election without him.
Since the phrase regained relevance in June 2022, skits, memes and songs have been made from the Emi Lokan phrase. Nigerian music star Q Dot even made a song from the phrase.
Tinubu said a lot in Abeokuta on June 2, 2022, and eight months after, some of his words and expressions are still buzzing on social media. Another word that was popularised by the president-elect in Abeokuta was ‘Lule’ (a Yoruba word that means fall down). He used Lule to described Buhari’s failure to win presidential elections after trying three times in 2003, 2007 and 2011, before the merger of opposition parties that produced APC, the party Buhari used to win residential election in 2015.
Tinubu who suspected that the President may not be supporting his presidential ambition after helping him to win election in 2015, told party delegates in Abeokuta that without him Buhari who ‘lule’ (fell) three times wouldn’t have become president.
“The first time o lule, the second time o lule, the third time o lule, o wa n sunkun lori national television’, Tinubu had revealed that that was why he decided to help him. Since he made that statement, ‘Lule’ became a popular slang during the election season.
A Yoruba word used in a condescending manner to describe someone you don’t want to mention their name. Eleyi (this one) was used by Tinubu in Abeokuta on June 2, 2022, to describe Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun state whom Tinubu said wouldn’t have become Governor without his support and influence.
“If not for me, this one (eleyi) behind me (pointing at Abiodun) wouldn’t have become Governor,” he said in Yoruba.
Obidient (Obedient) – the word used to describe Peter Obi’s supporters who are mostly young citizens, was coined from his last name – Obi. His followers through their Obidient movement disrupted the political status quo with their ‘LP from top to bottom’ campaign that gave politicians a run for their money.
From the House of Assembly elections to the Presidential elections and then the Governorship elections, every candidate feared what the will of followers of the third force would do to their political ambitions.
BATified, the word used to describe Tinubu’s supporters, was coined from the first letters of his three names (Bola Ahmed Tinubu – BAT). Like the Obidients, the Batified stood by the mandate of Bola Tinubu, defended his personality and promoted his agenda.
7. Ja Fun Eko
When Funke Akindele revealed that she was going to run as the running mate of Olajide Adediran (Jandor) – the PDP’s governorship candidate in Lagos, it came as a surprise to many Nigerians because the actress was not into politics before the elections.
However, she and her running mate, with their campaign slogan Ja Fun Eko (Fight for Lagos) coined from Jandor, Funke and Eko (Lagos), fought a good fight to win the elections even though they came a distant third behind Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party and APC’s candidate t Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who won the elections.
8. Seyi Leekansi
Before the election season, the people of Oyo State sang the praises of their Governor Seyi Makinde, and it was almost too certain that he would be given a second term considering all he has done in his first four years as the Governor of the State.
‘Seyi Leekansi’ (Seyi one more time) is his campaign slogan .
9. Balablu Bulaba
The president’s elect’s state of health has always been a course of concern for many Nigerians, and at every opportunity during his campaign period, Nigerians had picked apart his actions. In 2022, during a town hall meeting with Owerri residents, Tinubu said, ‘It is a town hall, not a Bala blu Bulaba’.
The last statement appears not to make any meaning to many Nigerians. Soon, it became a popular social media parlance used to make fun of Tinubu and his supporters.
10. Four People Tweeting In A Room
In the build up to the elections, the Obedient movement was ridiculed for being Twitter voters whose social media campaign would not translate into votes. Supporters of the major parties said they have no real structure to win a polling unit in any state at the 2023 general elections. The movement saw this as a challenge and adopted the word as a source of motivation, and eventually, when they started winning, they used the word to mock other supporters.
11. No Structure
For months, the Obidient movement was ridiculed for having ‘no structure’ to win the presidential election. Structure in the Nigerian political system means the network of party supporters and other loyalists across different parts of the country needed to win an election, but the meaning of the word changed as soon as the movement started winning.
As a way of mocking people who had clowned them for having no structure, every time there is a political argument, they mock them by reminding them of the time they said the movement had no structure.
12. Lessons Will Be Learnt
As the general elections got closer, there were many think pieces on what political analysts felt would be the outcome of the result. This school of thought brought about the slogan, ‘lessons will be learnt’. A slogan usually used on social media by the main political parties in contention – LP, APC, and PDP, whenever there is a major win in their camps.
13. Agbado (Maize/Corn)
Aside from Batified, Tinubu’s supporters are sometimes referred to as Agbado supporters. The word emanated from Tinubu’s speech at a colloquium organised in celebration of his 69th birthday in March 2022. In the speech, he advised the Federal Government to recruit 50 million Nigerian youths into the Army to fight insecurity.
At the gathering, he gave meal suggestions stating that the youths should be fed meals like, cassava, agbado (corn), and yam. According to him, that would create demand and consumption.
Supporters of Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, The former governor of Kano State and presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), are popularly known as Kwankwasiyya. Whenever supporters of his opponents want to troll Kwankwasiyas, they often refer to Kwankwaso as Kwakwansobu.
15. Jungle Never Mature
There have been different terms used to mock the Obidient movement. From no structure to lessons will be learnt, four people tweeting in a room, and jungle never mature.
Although these terms were used to mock the movement, young Nigerians have turned the meaning of these words to shame their political counterparts who believed that they never stood a chance against the bigger political parties.
16. Go and Verify
Peter Obi has always boasted about his records as Anambra state governor, and whenever he makes a claim or promise, he often ended his statement by telling people to ‘go and verify’ to confirm if he was making wrong claims.
On Tuesday, December 6, 2022, while speaking at a campaign rally in Owerri, Imo State, he had boasted that he and his Vice Presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, were not corrupt politicians and anyone doubting his words can ‘go and verify’.
‘If you want to check my record, go to Anambra state and verify. As the Governor of Anambra state, I didn’t allocate a plot of land to myself, my wife here, or my children,’ he said.
17. Is It For Eba Or Garri?
If there is a medal for the politician who was mostly trolled, using social media parlance ‘dragged’, on social media during the 2023 elections, Tinubu should get it. The president-elect also admitted in 2022 that he had stopped reading on social media because of how they constantly abuse him.
In the build up to the election, snippets of Tinubu’s gaffes were turned into skits and memes on social media. At the APC Southwest youth rally organised in Lagos, in 2022, where he told his supporters that he was not running for president for personal gains. However, he strangely compares the benefits of the presidential position with food. He said, ‘Is it for eba, is it for garri, is it for beans and dodo? No, I want to be president for you. Drive me there.’
Social media took the phrase and made several memes out of it.
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