Flutterwave’s co-founder and former CEO Iyinoluwa Aboyeji advocated for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate for the upcoming 2023 Nigerian General Election, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. At his town hall meeting with key players in the organized private sector, Aboyeji discussed the APC candidate’s vision for the tech sector (OPS).
Bigwigs in the tech industry including president of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; Chairman of the UBA Group, Tony Elumelu; chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia; a former chief executive of Access Bank, Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede; and the chief executive officer of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe were all in attendance.
The Nigerian community on Twitter had much to say as many were shocked to see Flutterwave’s Iyin making a case for Tinubu’s tech policy at the summit, especially since he criticized the APC in 2021. He was heavily criticized on Twitter, especially by the supporters of the Labour Party’s Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, for aligning himself with the ‘old order’ politicians.
No, Iyin this isn't youuuuu. Kal-El nooooo…
(But it was in fact, him. It was always him.) pic.twitter.com/zwamMP8wcO
— David Hundeyin (@DavidHundeyin) November 1, 2022
But, why was Iyin presenting BAT’s tech policy? I don’t understand. No be candidate suppose present him own policy?
— Jamal (@JajaPhD) November 1, 2022
Iyin has already told you people that your "noise" doesn't matter. He's the productive one. He's the one who is putting your country on the map. He has no time for your "naive idealisms". He's the Nigerian "Tony Stark".
Tech-bro politics 101: He's a builder, you're a moaner.
— Olorogun (@Okkevwe) November 1, 2022
In response to the reactions to his Tuesday outing, Aboyeji posted a brief explanation on his LinkedIn page. He wrote:
- “It is the political season here in Nigeria! On Tuesday I had the pleasure of speaking about the digital economy plan I and a few others had worked on with members of the Tinubu Shettima campaign for the APC Policy Forum for the Organized Private Sector. On Monday I also had the pleasure of attending a Fintech 1000+ meeting with Peter Obi and other industry leaders in the fintech industry to discuss the Obi Datti plan for Fintech and the digital economy. In the past, I have supported the PDP The Nigerian Alliance to help younger members of the PDP win primary tickets.
- “Although I am not a member of any political party, I’m a huge fan of political engagement as I believe this is critical to building our beloved nation and the digital economy which I am so passionate about. We cannot refuse opportunities to engage politicians on policy issues as they define their platforms and then criticize them when they inevitably make mistakes. I am available to provide policy guidance to politicians on the digital economy as time and opportunity permit me.”
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According to the Flutterwave‘s former CEO, he did it because of his belief that political engagement is key to nation-building. Aboyeji also noted that he had, in the past, supported the current opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He stressed that he is not a member of any political party. He added that he would not refuse opportunities to engage politicians on policy issues.
On the other hand, Aboyeji also received support from Tinubu’s camp on Twitter, who argued that he has the right to support any candidate of his choice like every other Nigerian