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Joel Oyeyinka Popoola: Changing the Face of Democracy Technologically

By Eric Elezuo

“Across the world, democracy is changing forever, and Nigeria is no different. Voters expect to have more influence on politics than our traditional representative democracy can necessarily accommodate. As a result, voters are either defecting to anti- establishment parties or becoming more and more attracted by direct action.

“People’s political priorities and motivations are becoming more and more disparate and unpredictable, and politicians are clearly failing to ascertain what voters really want.”- Oyeyinka Popoola

The world of men of ideas is ruled by dedication, commitment, unwavering focus and total achievement. This is the world of Mr. Joel Oyeyinka Popoola, the founder of Rate Your Leader Ltd and Co- Founder of Aacle Ltd, who was motivated by the above to give to the world a first class app to bridge the gap between politicians and electorate.

Popoola, fondly called Joel or Yinka by well wishers, grew up in Gbongan, where he had his primary and post primary education, beginning with St Paul’s Anglican Primary School before proceeding to Gbongan Community High School.

A British Citizen of Nigerian decent, Popoola studied Accounting with background in Banking, Finance and Insurance.  He is also a Masters degree holder in Managerial Psychology obtained from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria’s Premier University. Here is a man whose penchant for knowledge in an ever competitive world propelled him into the IT world where he has practiced professional software testing consultancy spanning a period of four uninterrupted and highly productive and eventful years.

Popoola, Luke Graham MP, and Alan at All Party Parliamentary China Group, House of Commons Dinner

His earliest career path saw him traversing through two superior finanacial institutions based in his home country, Nigeria; they are United Bank for Africa (UBA) and the former Intercontinental Bank, which is today a part of the ever growing Access Bank. These institutions sharpened, shaped and honed his professional skills and grounded him in distinguishing Leadership roles with excellent service delivery in Banking Operations, Customer Care Management, Branch Start-up and Management, Relationship Management, Business Development, Risk Management and Information Technology.

Passionate about delivering exceptional services and standards within the un-compromised confines of policies and procedures in the achievement of high-demanding objectives and corporate targets, Popoola who lives permanently in England, has not forgotten that charity begins at home. He brings this phenomenon to life with his constant thoughts directed at events on the home front, especially the forthcoming general elections which is just a few weeks away. His desire to see the execution of the best of elections led to the creation of the Nigeria Democracy App, Rate Your Leader. This is a technology dedicated to correcting the inability and unwillingness of social media giants to crack down on bots and trolls, which inadvertently has had an adverse effect on their users, politicians and even global democracy.

Popoola’s consistency has over the years engendered his capabilities to not only execute his deliverables, but to also exceed expectations in doing so. He is such a force to reckon with.

Probably proper to refer to him as a man who saw tomorrow, Popoola is using his technology to connect politicians with verified local electors using abuse-proof technology aims to ‘Take back democracy with technology.

Mr Popoola and wife

Hear him: “Around the world, from Trump supporters in America to Gillets Jaunes in France to Brexit supporters in the UK, people are feeling more and more out of touch with politics, and it’s only a matter of time before a similar apathy descends on Nigeria. One in three Nigerians uses Facebook; and technology offers the opportunity to connect politicians and people like never before. That dichotomy is driven by social media giants being unwilling, unable or both to effectively crack down on trolls and bots.”

Helen Goodman, MP Bishop Auckland and Mr Popoola at House of Commons All Party Parliamentary China Group Dinner

He stated further, “Democracy is now digital, which means social media companies have a responsibility to provide a safe space for both politicians and our democracy and they are evidently failing on both fronts. As a result, a troubling amount of our political debate in other parts of the world is dominated by Russian trolls and computerised bots while actual politicians are forced off social media by 21 st century pitchfork-wielding mobs. That cannot be right.”

Popoola’s ingenuity sets standard in celebrating knowledge based on proven integrity towards rekindling an abuse-proof digital platform which connects voters and politicians. He has personally urged electorate to embrace new technology to ‘take back democracy’ or risk the downside.

Mr. Popoola, wife and children

The Rate Your Leader app is a global online platform which helps politicians engage only with voters in their constituencies in an abuse-proof way and allows elected leaders to truly understand what matters most to the people who elect them while allowing local people to identify and contact their representatives at the touch of a button, direct from their phones or tablets. That is ingenuity at the highest level.

He noted: “Since Twitter, Facebook and others are not stepping up to the plate on this, we clearly need new democratic tech which allows genuine residents to interact with their elected officials in an abuse-proof way. Our Rate Your Leader technology can do it, so why can’t the tech giants? The technology allows elected leaders to truly understand what matters most to the people who elect them while allowing local people to identify and contact their representatives at the touch of a button, direct from their phones or tablets. The app, which also allows people to check if they are registered to vote and identify their elected representatives at the touch of a button, is free to download from the App store and other app marketplaces.”

Rt. Honourable John Bercow, The Speaker of House of Commons and Mr Popoola, at the Northumberland Police and Crime Commissioner’s Annual Lecture

Consequently, as many that has lost faith in their representatives has just got their faith rekindled. The tech-preneur quoted a research from YouGov, an international Internet-based market research and data analytics firm, headquartered in the UK, with operations across the world, which declared that only 18% of voters trust politicians to ‘do what is right’, with 66% believing their elected officials put personal interest before communal interest.

With the CEO of NHS at 2018 Director of the Year Award

This decline in faith in traditional politics, he said, has coincided with the election of explicitly anti-establishment leaders in the United States, Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines and India, the result of the Brexit referendum the UK and in the case of the Gillets Jaunes, Paris, direct action on the streets. The Rate Your Leader has practically eased the distrust, thanks to the foresightedness of Mr. Popoola.

Popoola has set a personal and professional value-chain of goals, and has a proven track-record of adding value and raising the bar through unfettered contribution of significant milestones to business performance.

R-L Tope, Jeff and Mr. Popoola

The achiever is a member of Tech London Advocates, and an Advance Member of The Institutes of Directors, and is totally, passionately and irrevocably committed to working with positive-minded people in creating a better world.

Stephen Hepburn MP, Jarrow Constituency and Joel Popoola at the House of Commons

Mr Popoola is married to Dr. Olusola Popoola nee Awomolo, and they are blessed with two lovely children Praise and Ife.

Sir, for your dexterity and can do attitude, you are our Boss of the Week. Congratulations!

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