“Some Tinubu die hard-supporters and APC stalwarts don’t want him but the president wants him and has a fatherly disposition towards the matter,” that is the submission of an insider over the uproar that attended the ministerial nomination of Bosun Tijani from Ogun state.
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Tijani appeared before the senate for screening as a minister on Saturday and was asked to take a bow and go after a grueling session over an old 2021 tweet on Twitter in which the CEO and co-founder of CcHub had called senators “morons” and said “Nigeria as a bloody expensive tag to have against your name.”
Tijani: Accept my apology
He would later apologise during the screening excise blaming it on frustration with the past political leadership.
His words: “I want to profusely apologise to everyone in this hall, including anyone, anywhere in Nigeria that may have been offended by everything I said.
“I begged that in the process of accepting my apology, you look at the undertone of everything I have said. I did not say it to spite. I said it out of frustration and love. Please accept my sincere apologies.”
The President’s wish list
Tijani’s nomination had come as a shock to many within the APC but not for those in the president’s close circle. “The president had clearly expressed intent to recruit only young persons for certain ministries irrespective of their political leanings and party background and also to further his plan for a government of national unity,” a person with knowledge of the matter to IT Edge News.Africa.
In May, then President-elect, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in Paris, France met with some of the people on his list to make up his cabinet. The president already had a clear profile for who will lead the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy as reported by IT Edge News Africa in a report published in May.
According to the source then: “Asiwaju wants someone, ebullient, knowledgeably vast in the sector, has proof of success in managing enterprises, has engaged with government at some level; able to command international respect – in fact, that matters a lot and comes from the generation you will associate with the dynamics of that sector.
“This is one sector where the government wants to demonstrate a strong bond with young people, sustain the tempo of growth in corporate Nigeria and encourage disruption across sectors without necessarily undermining the established order.”
High on that list was CEO and General Partner of Future Africa, Iyinoluwa Samuel Aboyeji. In fact, he was touted as the man to beat two weeks ago.
A choice from same ecosystem
“But in politics nothing is certain. Iyin is a strong supporter of Asiwaju and a close ally of Bosun. Asiwaju stuck to his choice of picking somebody from that same ecosystem of young sturdy, entrepreneurs with global exposure and intimidating profile to help shore up country and sector,” the source said.
Like the 32 years old Aboyeji, the Nigerian entrepreneur and a co-founder of Andela, 46 years old Tijani is joining the Tinubu’s government with a formidable profile as a pioneer of innovation tech hub in Africa. He is a close associate of Big Tech founders including Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey (before it was bought over by Elon Musk) Microsoft’s Bill Gates.
Tijani is part of Africa’s new wave of tech leaders and investors able to attract global respect the Nigerian government believes could impact on the country positively in the long run.