In 2022, as Nigerian parody creators and pranksters made us laugh even amid the country’s economic downturn and riots, some specific slang phrases were quickly adopted by people of all ages and classes.

Interestingly, unlike in previous years, some Nigerian politicians were behind some of the most popular trending phrases in 2022.

Below, PREMIUM TIMES highlights some of them.

E Dey Pain Dem

Starting off the list, we have Nyesom Wike, the Governor of River State, to thank for this one. During one of his political meetings, Wike, while addressing and ridiculing his political enemies, expressed that his actions caused them pain.

With the help of Wike’s acclaimed live band, the energetic governor danced to the tune “Wike Pepper Dem.”

wike nyesom

In September, Nigerian dancehall artist Timaya released a song titled “Sweet Us,” inspired by Wike’s favorite saying.

The chorus of the lyrics said: “How they sweeten us, they hurt us… How they hurt us, how they sweeten us.”

emi lo kan

APC presidential candidate Bola Tinubu is the author of Emi Lo Kan’s saying.

AD of Atiku-Okowa

At a June political meeting in Abeokuta, Ogun state, while making his case ahead of the APC presidential primary earlier this year, the former Lagos governor claimed it was his turn to become president in Yoruba.

Ball Ahmed Tinubu

“Emi Lokan” is a Yoruba phrase translated as “It’s my turn.” This phrase was quickly picked up by supporters and critics who used and discussed the words on social media.

Nigerians now use Emi Lokan to express ‘ownership’ in different contexts.

Singer Q Dot also released a song titled Emi Lo Kan in September.

Kogi Advertisement

TEXEM announcement

Bullet Blu Bulaba

“It’s a town hall, not a Bala Blu Bulaba,” APC presidential candidate Bola Tinubu reportedly told Owerri residents during a town hall meeting in Imo state in November.

These words, which have no connotative meaning, were believed to be his expression of gibberish.

It made the politician the butt of internet jokes on social media and condemned criticism from netizens trying to understand any possible meaning of the expression.

Dangote adbanner 728x90_2 (1)

Several Nigerian parody creators have adopted this slang in their productions since it emerged. Nigerians humorously use slang to convey that what you are doing is nonsense.


This one goes beyond jargon. As more Nigerians leave the country every day, the slang ‘Japa’, which means ‘to run out of the country in search of a better life’, was widely used by Nigerians at home and abroad.

At almost every turn, once their neighbor or colleague begins to show signs of relocation, Nigerians ask, “Abi, no dey Japa?”

we outside

Thanks to Mr. Eazi, “us outside” became a phrase often adopted by people who want to ‘out’ (outwit) another person for being an inside person.

Mr Eazii
Mr Eazii

On Friday nights, those who enjoy the city’s nightlife use this lingo in every instant video or reel uploaded, giving you an idea of ​​how they’re ‘cutting life’ (having fun).

Sope Otilo

Sope Otilo is a popular Nigerian Yoruba slang used when someone has been tricked, outwitted, swindled or ridiculed for any reason.

Dancer Poco Lee popularized this slang because his song about it has been used in many different and strange settings.

little reads
little reads

Some Nigerians use the term to indicate that they have resigned from their place of employment.

you complain to me a ni (re-popularized)

Yes, you’ve heard it before; this particular slang has no origin or creator, as it is street language that translates to “Are you kidding me?”.

However, this slang that was even consistently used by Phyna, this year’s Naija winner’s older brother, was repopularized by a viral hit song by Austine de Bull, whose real name is Austine Emmanuel.

austin bull

Unknowingly, the Ogoni singer gave Nigerian content creators and social media users, especially on TikTok, a sound to accompany their TikTok videos.


Last but not least, this jargon started trending at the end of November.

The slang, originating from parody creator Oga Sabinus, means keep wasting time.

Oga Sabinus
Oga Sabinus

Jargon now accompanies videos of people wanting to flaunt new achievements, acquired property, houses or cars.

The jargon “dey play” is a reverse motivation that prods others to stop being lazy about life.

Other notable mentions

Nigerians always use many other slangs, some of which were trending years ago. This year Nigerian content creators used slang like Omo, Pepper Dem, Something Hooge, Opor and Lori Iro.

Support PREMIUM TIMES journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. However, only good journalism can guarantee the possibility of a good society, a responsible democracy and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country, we ask that you consider making a modest support for this noble effort.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to keep journalism relevant and ensuring that it remains free and available to everyone.


TEXT AD: Call Willie – +2348098788999

PT Mag campaign ad