A Nigerian senator forced to deny internet reports that he was dead has signed up to democracy app Rate Your Leader in order to connect directly with voters.
Senator Ademola Adeleke, the high profile representative for Osun West sometimes known as “the dancing senator”, has become the latest Nigerian leader to sign up to the democracy app, which lets politicians connect directly with the public and allows voters to identify and contact their representatives.
Senator Adeleke was last year forced to deny rumours that he had collapsed and died at Abuja airport, describing them as the “product of warped minds and infantile imagination”
A spokesperson for the senator assured the public that he was “hale and hearty” and in “good health and high spirit” stating that at “no time” had the senator suffered “health failure either at airport or anywhere else”.
Senator Adeleke was runner-up in the Osun State Governorship Election of 2018, a result he continues to contest.
The rumours of the senator’s death followed earlier internet claims that President Buhari had also died and been replaced with a clone.
New democracy app Rate Your Leader – whose mission statement is “take back democracy with technology” – has recently been launched in Nigeria to connect politicians with verified local electors using abuse-proof technology.
Rate Your Leader founder and Nigerian tech entrepreneur Joel Poopola welcomed Senator Adeleke’s efforts to engage with voters.
He said: “Nigerian is far from alone in major democracies when it comes to elections being plagued by misinformation spread on the internet, but nowhere else has fake news made such an effort to kill off politicians who are in fact perfectly healthy.
“In light of rumours of their actual demise, it’s no wonder than more and more Nigerians and Nigerian politicians are taking advantage of the power Rate Your Leader gives them to connect directly, using technology to take back democracy from trolls and bots.
“In the case of Senator Adeleke, his election defeat last year appears to have been by such a margin that the result is still being contested nearly six months on. Its knife-edge contests like this where better engagement with just a handful of voters could mean the difference between electoral success and failure, and Rate Your Leader really enhances candidate’s power to engage.”
Rate Your Leader is a global online platform which helps politicians engage only with voters in their constituencies in an abuse-proof way. 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 to see 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.